Are There Viking Runes On The Newport Tower? (Video)

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The Newport Tower Museum brought in one of the world’s leading experts to find out.

One of the most persistent rumors about the mysterious Newport Tower is that it was built by the Vikings long before Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere. In an attempt to test this theory, The Newport Tower Museum’s curator, Jim Egan invited one of the world’s preeminent experts in Runic inscriptions, Henrik Williams to determine the origin of some peculiar markings on some of the tower’s stones. Mr. Williams is a Professor of Scandinavian Languages at Uppsala University, Sweden, a country where they know a bit about things Viking.

On a blustery April day, Henrik Williams examined the tower with Jim Egan, Steve DiMarzo of the New England Antiquities Research Association and documentarian Marc Creedon who filmed this video:

The professor’s verdict?


The markings aren’t Viking in origin, the Vikings didn’t use plaster in their construction…and the Newport Tower bears no resemblance to any Viking architecture he’s seen, so the chances that Vikings built the iconic building are rather…remote.

Which is probably a good thing.

As much fun as having a mysterious “mill” sitting in a park off Bellevue, making some progress towards its actual origin in probably a net positive for all but Newport’s most passionate Viking enthusiasts. We, ourselves, are fans of the Scandinavians, though not specifically for their plundering period.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast History Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?