Roger Williams National Memorial | PARK AT A GLANCE

Roger Williams National Memorial

Roger Williams National Memorial

PARK OVERVIEW

Roger Williams National Memorial is located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, the city founded by Roger Williams in 1636 in an attempt to create a settlement that was free from state-sponsored religion. At the time, most countries around the world had an official religion, as did every English colony in America up until Rhode Island was founded. Williams is credited with developing the idea of the separation of Church and State, a philosophy later incorporated by the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The Roger Williams National Memorial was created in 1965, though it took the government ten years to purchase the land for the park. Nothing remains of the original town of Providence, for most everything was burned down in 1676 during an Indian uprising, including Williams’ home. However, the land that was eventually purchased for the park was part of Providence’s original common land, and Williams’ house once stood across and a short distance down the street from the Visitor Center. Because there is nothing of major historical importance remaining, the Memorial is one of the least involving of all National Parks, consisting only of a visitor center with a small exhibit area dedicated to Williams and a 4.5-acre inner-city park that is of interest mainly to local residents. The National Park Service holds concerts and plays in the park during the summer season. There is also a small picnic area on the property.

Though not part of Roger Williams National Memorial, Williams’ grave site is located at the top of Prospect Terrace. This is within walking distance of the park, but up an extremely steep hill. If you are a fan of Williams, be sure to check it out.


OPERATING HOURS

The grounds of Roger Williams National Memorial are open year-round from dawn until dusk.

The Visitor Center is open Thursdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM from May through the end of November, and on Wednesdays through Saturdays the rest of the year (same hours). It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s Operating Hours and Seasons web page for Roger Williams National Memorial.


FEES

There are no fees associated with a visit to Roger Williams National Memorial.


SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Visitor Center and Museum
allow 30 minutes

Roger Williams Memorial Grounds
allow 30 minutes

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Last updated on August 31, 2023
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