Hannah's Rock

Independently operated and managed by RI Department of Environmental Management.

Hannah Robinson Rock is a short distance northeast of Hannah Robinson Tower on Route 1 in South Kingstown.  Comprised of a bare outcropping of the bedrock ledge that forms the eastern edge of McSparran Hill, the ledge was part of the Glebe Farm owned by the Reverend James McSparran in the mid-eighteenth century.  McSparran's house, which survives only as an archaeological site, was located below the ridge on Walmsley Lane.

This natural outlook over Boston Neck and Narragansett Bay is traditionally associated with the tragic tale of Hannah Robinson, which is a major feature in the folklore of Rhode Island.  Hannah was the beautiful daughter of Rowland Robinson, a prominent member of the wealthy Narragansett planter society of the mid-eighteenth century.  Her story, which has been frequently retold since the mid-nineteenth century, tells of her love affair with a suitor who was judged unsuitable by her father.  In the face of her father's opposition, Hannah eloped and settled with her husband in Providence.

Estranged from her family, beset by poverty and perhaps plagued by an unfaithful husband (accounts vary), Hannah lapsed into a fatal decline.  Finally relenting in his opposition, Rowland Robinson journeyed to Providence to bring his daughter home to Boston Neck.  As the travelers reached McSparran Hill, Hannah asked to be set down for a while to enjoy her favorite view over her homeland.  Shortly thereafter she died, but she and her romantic history continue to be commemorated in the overlook which bears her name.

In 1966, the owner of the land, John Hazard Wells, conveyed the rock in a 1.52 acre parcel to Preserve Rhode Island. The site is maintained by the State of Rhode Island as public open space and is accessible by an informal network of trails leading from Hannah Robinson Tower.