Over four hundred years ago, a colony of 112 English men, women and children settled on Roanoke Island, attempting to establish the first permanent English colony in the New World. Although the fate of these settlers who were to have build "The cittie of Raleigh" remains unknown, their dreams, courage and ideals are symbols of the birthplace of America.
In a quiet wooded area on the northern end of Roanoke Island stands Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, location of that first settlement. Visitors are encouraged to visit the Lindsay Warren Center to explore the museum and view a 10-minute orientation film.
Then, if you're interested in Elizabethan-era entertainment, step into the 400-year-old Tudor room from Herndon Hall in Kent, England. The oak panelled room contains period furnishings, a hand carved mantelpiece and blown glass windows, typical of Elizabethan England.
A path from the visitor's center winds into the woods, where one may encounter living history interpreters representing colonists and soldiers of the era. They are prepared to describe various aspects of life in the colony and answer questions about Elizabethan times.
About 100 yards down the path, visitors come upon the reconstructed earthworks of Fort Raleigh, a fortification built to protect the settlement from expected Spanish attack. The settlement itself, with its thatched roofed houses, was actually somewhere outside the fort.
Just past the fort is the Thomas Harriot Trail, a half-mile self-guided path, gently winding its way to the sound. The trail is marked to point out the native plants which colonists found and put to use during their time on Roanoke Island.
Check out special community events happening along the Outer banks... Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island residents, submit your events for our new Southern Outer Banks Calendar.