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Above the arches and inside the tower is evidence of a floor that once supported an interior chamber.The walls are approximately 3 feet (0.91 m) thick, and the diameter of the inner chamber is approximately 18 feet (5.5 m).
In 1837, Danish archaeologist Carl Christian Rafn proposed a Viking origin for the tower in his book Antiquitates Americanæ, partly based on his research of the inscriptions on the Dighton Rock near the mouth of the Taunton River.
the tower mill form, as contrasted to the smock, post and composite forms, was not common in England until the beginning of the 18th century." Subsequent research has determined that Chesterton was, in fact, built as a windmill in 1632-33, as the original building accounts have been traced since Wailes' death in 1986, including payments for sailcloths. In 1993, radiocarbon dating tests of the tower's mortar were undertaken by a team of researchers from Denmark and Finland.
The results suggest a probable date of production of the mortar between 16.
The tower is located at the upper end of the plot behind the now-demolished mansion built by Benedict Arnold, the first colonial governor of Rhode Island, who moved from Pawtuxet to Newport in 1651.
The phrase has therefore generally been accepted as referring to the Newport Tower, and is evidence that the tower was once used as a windmill.
The tower is described in a document of 1741 as "the old stone mill." It was used as a haymow in 1760, while it was described in 1767 as being used as a powder store "some time past".
De Barres' plan of Newport published in 1776 marks it as "Stone Wind Mill." During the American Revolution, the tower was used by the Americans as a lookout and by the British to store munitions.
The tested mortar may date from the tower's initial construction or from repointing, which may have been performed long after initial construction.
The researchers drilled "deep so as to get past any recent mortar that might have been applied during tuck pointing." In a 2003 report on this and related work, Hale, et al.
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The Newport Tower (also known as: Round Tower, Touro Tower, Newport Stone Tower and Old Stone Mill) is a round stone tower located in Touro Park in Newport, Rhode Island (USA), the remains of a windmill built in the mid-17th century.
This hypothesis is predicated on the uncertainty of the southward extent of the early Norse explorations of North America, particularly in regard to the actual location of Vinland.