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- Fort Raleigh
- THE AMERICAS
- Alt Name:
- Roanoke Island
- United States
- Early Modern (1500AD-1800AD)
- 1500AD - 1599AD
- Fort Raleigh City
- Colonial National Park, Averasboro Battlefield ,
about Fort Raleigh
Fort Raleigh is a National Historic Park located on Roanoke Island in North Carolina, the site of an English colony which was famously “lost”.
The "Lost" Colony
First established between 1584 and 1590, the English colony was a first attempt by the English to colonise the “New World”, a campaign spearheaded by Sir Walter Raleigh. However, this community of 116 people effectively ‘disappeared’, never to be heard from again. The fate of these men, women and children has never been revealed, remaining a mystery. A film about this historic event can be viewed at the visitor centre.
The actual “fort” at Fort Raleigh, which is made up of earthworks, is a remnant of English colonisation and several sixteenth century items have been discovered there. Visitors can view this fort and learn more about its history. It is also worth noting that the first successful, permanent English colony was not established until 1607 - this can be viewed at Colonial National Park, Virginia.
Beyond the spectre of Fort Raleigh’s colonial past, the site boasts a wealth of history, including that of Native Americans. Visitors to Fort Raleigh can explore the culture of the Native Americans who lived there.
American Civil War
In the American Civil War, Fort Raleigh was the site of a modest battle known as the Battle of Roanoke Island, in which the Union captured the island from the Confederates in February 1862. Whilst this battle was relatively small, it did add to the momentum of the Union efforts.
Furthermore, following the battle, Fort Raleigh became the site of a “Freedmen’s Colony”, an experimental plan whereby African Americans were settled on the island. The community established at Roanoke thrived, but at the end of the war, the land was returned to its original owners.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Park offers a range of activities for adults and children to learn about its history.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Fort Raleigh is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Fort Raleigh, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, North Carolina 27954
Phone: (252) 473-5772
Located on Roanoke Island off the coast of mainland North Carolina. Reached via Route US-64 and also by ferry, which departs from Cedar Island, NC. By car, the island is around 189 miles west of the city of Raleigh, NC (take US-64 East towards Plymouth for 80 miles, turn left onto Fort Raleigh N High School). Further directions available on the official website. The nearest major airports are in Raleigh and Norfolk, but Dare County Airport is located on the island, 2 miles from the site.
Grounds are open daily, 9am to 5pm (to 6pm from June - August). Closed Christmas Day. Entry to the park is free, but some features of the site are run by external operators which do charge fees. Further information available on the park’s official site.
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