A Visit to Clingstone

The house on a rock” has been a familiar sight in Jamestown, Rhode Island for over 100 years. In 1904, after the Federal Government seized his estate on nearby Bull Point for a fort, J. S. L. Wharton started building a new summer house he called Clingstone on a tiny “dumpling” on the busy East Passage of Narragansett Bay, across from Newport Harbor. Many predicted it would soon be swept away by a storm, but it was strongly made and has endured to this day.

With the help of artist W. T. Richards, Wharton designed a unique mansion, shingled both inside and out, with a radial plan that gives almost every room spectacular views in at least two directions.  

By the 1950's, Clingstone was essentially abandoned, for sale for back taxes. In 1961 Henry Wood, a Boston architect and a distant cousin of Wharton's, bought it and began the lifelong task of restoring and maintaining this remarkable landmark. Wood's work has been chronicled in feature articles in the Boston Globe and the New York Times.

Tom Sharpless took these high resolution, high dynamic range panoramic photos in and from Clingstone on August 19, 2010 (this view from the shore was made a year earlier). To view them comfortably you will need a fast Internet connection. In the unlikely event that your browser does not already have an Adobe Flash Player plug-in, you can get one [here].