Westford Knight
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 35.264 W 071° 26.073
19T E 300237 N 4717907
Quick Description: The gouges in a rock uncovered along a Wesford side road that might be a sword, and a companion rock with the engraving of a boat have been claimed by some to be from the Knight Templar Sinclair who came to this continent in the 1400s.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 7/30/2008 2:02:08 PM
Waymark Code: WM4AKT
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member CYBret
Views: 134

Long Description:
The Westford Knight legend appears occasionally in books, newspaper articles and on web pages. Some claim that the several gouges in a rock with a flat face depict a sword and other features suggest symbols on a shield and a body of a knight buried nearby, who was on an exploration excursion with Prince Henry Sinclair.

First, the evidence.

The Westford Knight rock rests next to busy Depot Street on the east side about 1/10 mile south of a turnout for a school, and about a 1/4 mile north of a fork in the road with Main Street. The rock is ringed with posts and a chain. There is also a stone marker placed by the Sinclair family. On the face of the rock, in the right light, you can see the gouges that are roughly parallel and curve together. There is also a T shaped set of gouges that suggest a hilt. A shield has been painted on the rock, perhaps to better illustrate other marks on the rock. Some people see an entire man.

Another rock is now located in the Westford library. It has a clear picture of a boat on it with other inscriptions. It is not clear whether the boat rock is related to the Westford Knight rock, but there is speculation that it is. There are several copied documents about both objects and possible connections to the Knights Templar, Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, and others.

The Legend (taken from the Gunn Clan Web Site)

According to some, Prince Henry Sinclair, Earl of Rosslyn, Prince of Orkney, Duck of Oldenburg (Denmark), and Premier Earl of Norway, led an expedition in 1398 to explore Nova Scotia and Massachusetts. Frederick Pohl included Sinclair in his book, Atlantic Crossings before Columbus, 1961. One of Sinclair's sources, the Zeno Narrative, described a journey of four fishing boats that were blown out to sea, landed on possibly Newfoundland and spent 20 years there. They were rediscovered, and one was able to return. Sinclair decided to explore this new land and went with a fleet of 13 little vessels. After exploring north, they sailed south and spent the winter north of present day Boston, living peacefully with the natives. Sinclair may have hiked up present day Prospect Hill to get a view of the land. One of the attendants, Sir James Gunn, died at this time. The party then carved a marker on a stone ledge of a knight and a shield with the Gunn heraldry and a sword. They did this by making a series of small impressions with a shart tool, driven by a mallet, incorporating natural features such as glacial scratches into the design.

The boat might have been a marker to say that the party was there and they may have given the direction they intended to travel next.

Opinions on Authenticity

There are opinions on both sides. The best thing is to go to the sites below to gather the evidence, visit the site, and make your own decision.

I'm skeptical, myself. While it is possible that the sword could have been carved in the manner said, I also leave the possibility that this is a natural formation that happens to look like a sword or parts (like the hilt) added later to make it look like one. The other features were not as visible to me, but weathering of the rock could have softened other features (but why does the sword remain more visible than the other features?). The painted shield doesn't help me see the shield in the rock. If the boat rock is related, why is is the boat much more defined than the 'knight?' But, this is my opinion.

Westford Fletcher Library (where the boat rock is):
(visit link)

Clann Gunn Site (where most of the legend was taken from):
(visit link)

Sinclair Clan Site (Don't know if it is 'official'): (visit link)

Summary of an archeologist's report, skeptical: (visit link)
Type: Fabled People and Places

Website Reference: [Web Link]

Referenced in (list books, websites and other media): Not listed

Additional Coordinates: Not Listed

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