Tyndall's Point Park

1376 Vernon Street, Gloucester Point VA 23062

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Park Info

In 1608, a mariner named Robert Tyndall came to Virginia with Captain Christopher Newport in the first party of English settlers.  They sailed the York River on a voyage of exploration.  Tyndall drew a chart of the James and York Rivers, constricting it to its narrowest dimension.  Captain John Smith, who mapped Virginia in 1610, perpetuated the name Tyndall's Point, but it was not until the time of the American Revolution that the area became commonly knowledge as Gloucester Point. 

During the 17th century, as the tobacco economy gained momentum, settlement encompassed the countryside across the York River.  The river became an important conduit of shipping and trade.  By February 1633, the colonial government decided to build a tobacco warehouse at Tyndall's Point, to serve the needs of the region's planters. 

In 1667, because of the war with Holland, forts were located in a number of areas to protect the waterways of Virginia.  The York River fort was located at Tyndall's Point.  This same location was the site of a fort during the Revolutionary War and again during the War Between the States.  The fort was officially named Fort James when it was rebuilt with brick in 1671.  The structure was the first in a series of fortifications that were built at Tyndall's Point over the next 200 years.  Fortifications were modified and maintained throughout the colonial period.  The British army refortified the point in August 1781.  The 1807 cannons were again placed at Tyndall's Point and in 1861 the confederacy built earth works and a Water Battery. 

Credit: VA Research Center for Archaeology, Williamsburg; Historian Martha McCartney.