Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

Westford, Massachusetts

Westford Knight

Supposed Massachusetts Grave of a pre-Columbus Knight Templar. 

Legend has it that a Scottish earl named Henry Sinclair took a crew of explorers and discovered America in 1398, a whole century before Christopher Columbus. According to the story, they explored regions of Nova Scotia and New England. Some even claim that the evidence of that is the grave of one of their fallen in what is now Westford, MA, a town northwest of Boston near the New Hampshire state line.

Along Depot Street, near the Abbott School, is an exposed rock that some believe is the grave of a person called the Westford Knight. The rock is supposedly engraved with a depiction of a knight holding a downward-pointed sword in one hand and a shield in the other, the latter emblazoned with a coat of arms that apparently identifies him as Sir James Gunn of the Clan Gunn, who was allegedly a Knight Templar.

Most believe the markings to be natural scratches from glaciation and that the small T-shaped part taken to be an upside-down sword hilt was really punched into the rock circa the 1900s. The most damning fact for the story is that the rock face would have been buried under feet of soil 600 years ago when the effigy was supposedly carved.

Knight or not, the town has still cordoned off the marking with chains, outlined the markings for better visibility, and erected a plaque dedicated to the Westford Knight. Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

Know Before You Go

To view the Westford Knight carving in Westford Massachusetts, take I-495 to Exit 32, Boston Road. Then go west on Boston Road toward Westford Center. Just before the Westford Common, turn right onto Lincoln Street and go straight onto Main St. Just past Roudenbush Community Center, bear left onto Depot St and the Westford Knight carving is about 100 yards down Depot St on the right. You can park in the Abbot School parking lot, and walk back up Depot to see the stone carving of the Westford Knight.

Contributed by
JWOcker
Edited by