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Weston, Massachusetts: Tower Marks Town of Massachusetts Vikings

According to a wealthy amateur historian with powerful friends, this was the site of the Viking town of Norumbega. In 1889, a medieval-style tower was built as a tribute to the Bay State's fearsome Norse forebears.

Massachusetts Viking Tower

Norumbega Rd, Weston, MA
Massachusetts Viking Tower. I-95 exit 23,24,25. Follow signs for Hwy 30 west toward Wayland. Once on Hwy 30, make a quick right onto River Rd. Drive almost a mile, back over the interstate, then turn right onto Norumbega Rd. The tower will be on the left.
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Visitor Tips and News About Tower Marks Town of Massachusetts Vikings

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Viking tower.

Tower Remembering Massachusetts Vikings

This tower is pretty close to the highway, so it's a quick stop if you're in the area. The idea that a local chemistry professor felt the need to build this tower in 1889 -- to honor the theory that the Vikings inhabited the area for 300 years after building a nearby city in 1000 AD -- is kinda curious. The tower door was open when I stopped by. It's a dark and relatively safe climb to the top. Nice views.

[MaryJo, 11/30/2021]
Tower Remembering Massachusetts Vikings

Today I went to see the Viking tower. It's worth seeing if you're in the area. If you go to see it and are thin enough, you can crawl through a small opening in a window behind the tower, and then climb to the top. If you plan on doing this, bring a flashlight -- it's a little dark inside.

[Ken Balcom, 05/11/2002]

Viking tower.

Tower Remembering Massacusetts Vikings

Here is a photo I shot last summer at the "Norumbega" monument to our local Massachusetts Vikings. It's a handsome stone tower with an explanatory carved plaque at the bottom, all built in 1889. The stairs inside the tower are sealed off, but not securely enough to prevent a waving photo op from the top.

[David Gingold, 03/17/2002]

The tower was built by Prof. Eben Horsford where he claimed to have found the fabled lost Viking city of Norumbega. He also claimed to have found Leif Ericcson's house just down the street from his own house in Cambridge. Horsford's theories were endorsed by the ruling Protestant elite of Boston, who in the late 1800s favored the Vikings and belittled Columbus, who was Catholic.

Tower Remembering Massachusetts Vikings

Harvard Chemistry Professor Eben Horsford, in the 1890s, figured out that a local Indian name must certainly be their word for Norway, the homeland of their old friend Leif Ericson. Sure enough Horsford discovered that Watertown, just up the river from Cambridge, is really the ancient lost Viking city of Norumbega, est. 1000 AD.

The tests of time and critical scientific review were not kind to Horsford's ideas, but since he had the foresight to have his theories carved in stone, you can still visit monuments to his discovery today. Crackpots, take note!

A stone tower engraved with the story of Norumbega stands overlooking the Charles just inside Route 128 in Weston. Also find a statue of Leif Ericson on Comm. Ave. in Boston.

[David Gingold, 06/10/2001]

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In the region:
Tour a Lightship, East Boston, MA - 12 mi.

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