Fort Boykin is a 14-acre site located five miles northeast of Smithfield, Va. It has been a part of American history since 1623 when a fort known as the Castle was constructed to protect the Jamestown colonists from Native Americans and raiding Spaniards. Atop a 30-foot bluff, the site's commanding view makes it a keen observation point on the James River.
Although rebuilt, renamed and involved in historic naval activities of the James River and Chesapeake Bay since the 17th century, Fort Boykin remains essentially intact as a well-preserved example of military architecture of the Civil War era.
The story of Fort Boykin is an evolution of the connectedness of people and the Chesapeake Bay, and today it tells that story in its current state as a recreational park and historic site.
8 a.m. to Dusk
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
There are no fees associated with Fort Bokyin.
The fort offers a look at history, as well as places for some recreational activites, including picnicking and beach access.
Fort Boykin, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been a part of American history since 1623 when a fort known as the Castle was constructed to protect the Jamestown colonists from Native Americans and raiding Spaniards. Atop a bluff overlooking the James River, the site’s commanding view makes it a keen observation point.
During the Revolutionary War, Fort Boykin was instrumental in the defense of the James River and the likes of the legendary British Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and his cavalry. Fort Boykin was named during the Revolutionary War after Maj. Francis Boykin, a local merchant who served on Gen. George Washington’s staff.