I like to get outdoors and walk, especially if my surroundings are beautiful. I enjoy sharing my favorite spots with others.
Gungywamp: Ruins? Or Something More?
Gungywamp is a most unusual Connecticut attraction. It's a collection of strange unexplained stone structures and walls of which little is known. When you ask the experts questions about Gungywamp, often their answer is "we just don't know".
On September 22, 2012 we took a guided tour of the Gungywamp site. This was my second tour, the previous one being about 10 years ago.
So, come with me, and I will take you on a pictorial mini-tour of Gungywamp and tell you what I know.
How to Take a Gungywamp Tour
Gungywamp is located in Groton, Connecticut.
In the above photo, you see what a typical part of the trail looks like at Gungywamp. Most of it is in the shade. Some of it is on an incline -- and decline. Some of it is rocky and some has a lot of fallen logs left over from two storms this year.
The walk is about 1-1/2 miles. It took about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Be prepared. Our tour guide brought a walking stick, which was a very good idea.
There are no facilities.
- Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
Gungywamp is on private property. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center conducts guided tours several times a year. There is a small fee. For information visit their website and click on "Programs & Events"
- The Gungywamp Society
The Gungywamp Society has more information about Gungywamp on their website.
This is called the "Dugout Site" as members of the Gungywamp Society discovered and uncovered, or "dug it out". It has three sides (two of which are shown).
Perhaps there was a roof over these stones or other log construction. This is believed to be from Colonial times.
Many of the sites are numbered for reference. Site 7 is believed to be what remains of a colonial period home.
(The log across it has no relationship. It is the result of a recent storm).
Speculations on this is that it could be a native American war memorial.
Or, the native Americans also had a custom of put a stone in place before battle and removing it when the returned from battle.
The other possibility and the reason it is named the cursing stone, is based on a tradition in other parts of the world. When a person is angry at another they take a stone and place it as a curse against the other person . This, instead, of having an altercation with the person.
These were here before the colonial period
This is the South Row and points toward true North.
There are stones similarly arranged in the British Isles.
Shown in the picture above is a four sided stone fence. Was it some sort of animal pen?
You can see some lose stones all around, which were probably on top of the wall, making the wall higher.
The Tomb—Site 2
Site 2 pre-dates the Colonial Era. It's named "The Tomb", but there is no evidence it was used as a tomb or burial chamber.
This appeared to be just a dirt mound until the 1950s when it was discovered that under the dirt there is a chamber constructed of stone slabs. The entrance was closed (sealed) with another slab, which when removed revealed the inside.
These pre-date the colonial era settlements in Connecticut. Both of these structures were similarly built. A wall was built up against a large rock.
The one on the left has fallen apart a little; the one on the right is a little more in place.
Someone went to a lot of trouble to lift these heavy stones and build these walls, so what was their purpose?
The Large Chamber—Site 1—Pre-Dates the Colonial Era
The Double Circle of Stones—Site 5—Pre-Dates the Colonial Era
There is speculation on how this circle within a circle was used. But nothing definitive decided.
There has been nothing found that can help date the circle or its use. The charred remains, you see, are from modern day trespassers who have built fires.
An Interesting Object
There were quite a few of these scattered around Gungywamp.
I will give you the answer at the end of the article.
Gungywamp and Other Stone Sites on YouTube
Did you check out Skara Brae?
For in-depth reading on Gungywamp, there is a book, The Greater Gundywamp (Twentieth Anniversary Edition) authored by David P. Barron and Sharon Mason, with a supplement by Vance Tiede—members of the Gungywamp Society.
It is available for checkout at the Groton Public Library under catalog number "974.65 BAR."
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: There is a TV show on Gungywamp (the secret of the underground) and they show an engraving on a rock that appears with a heart but it is not discussed on the tv. Is it there? This is important as I know of another site which appears to be very ancient that has this same symbol. Can you find this marking?
Answer: I have taken the Gungywamp hike twice with tour guides. One was with a member of the Gungywamp Society. Neither tour guide mentioned the heart or showed it to us. You could do an internet search on Gungywamp Society and find their Facebook page. You could also try contacting the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic Connecticut as they now arrange the tours.
I am not sure in what context you saw the heart. Is it possible it was not discussed as it is new vandalism rather than part of the original site. It is on private land, but there are people who sneak in there unescorted.
© 2012 Ellen Gregory
Please Comment: Does Gungywamp Sound Interesting to You?
Deborah Blish on July 18, 2018:
I am kind of bumming because I lived in Mystic and then City of
Groton, CT and Finally Norwich CT from 1966 until 1984 and did not know of its existence until last year. I know live about 6 hours away. I would love to visit and meditate there. I am sensitive to energy and would love to get a feel. I have family still in that area so the next time I travel there I plan on going.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 16, 2018:
What a lovely place to walk and be close to nature. I love places like these and hope that we keep them so the next generation can also enjoy it.
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on January 27, 2017:
In response to Gungywamper's comment I have deleted directions so nothing will be misconstrued. However, I believe I make myself clear in the article that it is private property and reservations to tour need to be made through Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
Gungywamper on October 30, 2016:
To the readers of this article...please note. The dirt road mentioned on this sight is a private road. It is not open to the public and trespassers will be prosecuted. To the author....please remove your directions to this site...they are in accurate and you are directing people to trespass on private property. This is not a public tourist attraction. Thank you.
angelatvs on June 05, 2014:
I can't wait to visit!
Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on May 11, 2014:
This looks like a great place to catch some lovely nature photographs and get exercise while trying to solve a mystery (or make up a story).
katiesnow on April 14, 2014:
very cool indeed!
KamalaEmbroidery on June 25, 2013:
Fascinating. I had no idea there were such structures there.
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on October 31, 2012:
Wow but I am very impressed by Gungywamp. I stopped by to wish you a happy Halloween but you really did give me a Halloween adventure to ponder.
MarcellaCarlton on October 29, 2012:
Oh Yeah! This is very interesting. I would love to visit.
WriterJanis2 on October 07, 2012:
This sounds like a very interesting place to visit. I love places that have a mystery to them. Blessed!
Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on October 02, 2012:
Oh yes, absolutely! I would love to visit.
Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on October 02, 2012:
I would love to visit sites like this and do some meditations there - to get insights on the origins of structures. It is on my list of places to visit.
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on October 02, 2012:
@Thamisgith: The guide indicated there were stories about objects being found and taken some place for analysis, but no one seems to know what happened to them. Also, there are rumors of objects being found there, before there was any analysis considered -- some things found in colonial times.
Thamisgith on October 02, 2012:
Fascinating subject. I take it that they didn't find any artefacts or items which would have allowed them to date the site more accurately?
spids1 on September 30, 2012:
great lens love this!
CruiseReady from East Central Florida on September 30, 2012:
Wow - I sure would like to visit there. So intriguing! I's like to see what it feels like to be there ...
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 28, 2012:
I like visiting places such as these. They feed my imagination.
Deadicated LM on September 27, 2012:
Indeed, I never heard of this site; thanks for sharing, you learn something new on Squidoo everyday.
Avi Wolfson from Massachusetts on September 24, 2012:
Very interesting indeed!
laughingapple on September 23, 2012:
Really interesting site. I had not heard about it before. Also great photos for those who cannot visit in person.
Karen from U.S. on September 23, 2012:
Gungywamp sounds like a fascinating place to visit, with some great history behind it. When I first saw the title, I was guessing that this was a place in Australia and certainly not in the U.S.