Dorchester Heights—Gridley’s Star Fort

1776-1783

Verify the location of the ditch

 

Last spring (2007) we set up and tried to establish the trace outline of the defensive ditch of Gridley’s Fort on Dorchester Heights.  This fortification was built on the site where the colonists placed their cannons in order to dominate Boston Harbor and drive the British out of the city of Boston. The site is on National Park Service land and has been smoothed, leveled and otherwise reworked since the fort was abandoned in the early 19th century. Absolutely no trace of it remains above ground. Archaeological sample pits have established that the lowest levels of the ditch are still existent. Excavating the ditch would be cost prohibitive and non-invasive geophysics seems like an ideal solution.  The survey was successful and we found traces of the lowest sections of the ditch, and perhaps parts of the glacis, fraise trench and parapet.  Although we have finished the work and submitted our findings we will  return to investigate areas around the  gate complex.