Clingstone House – Jamestown, Rhode Island - Atlas Obscura

Clingstone House

Eco-friendly island mansion. 


Waves nearly crest into the family room and kitchen of the Clingstone House in Narragansett Bay. The 105-year-old Rhode Island summerhouse is situated on top of a rocky island, just a few yards larger than the house itself.

Poking up from the rumbling Atlantic Ocean, J.S. Wharton designed the house with an architect as a summer getaway in the early 20th century. They designed the house to withstand powerful hurricane-strength winds while still maintaining a wooden cottage-like aesthetic.

The Wharton family vacationed at their own 23-bedroom island resort until 1941 when Wharton’s wife passed away. Following her death, the house sat vacant in the bay until 1961 when a Boston architect and cousin of Wharton named Henry Wood purchased the mansion for just under $4,000.

This began a new chapter in the life of the Clingstone House. The mansion still maintained much of its grandeur, dominating the view around it with its 10,000 square feet. However, Wood began renovations on the house, including a 21st century technological makeover.

The Clingstone House is not only unique because of its location on a private island or because of its massive size, but also because of its ecological footprint. Solar panels heat all the water for the mansion, and a wind turbine provides its power. Even more amazing, the house has a seawater filtration system and rain cistern. The Clingstone House is an incredible marriage of green technology and breathtaking scenery.

This architectural wonder sitting on an island offers 365-degree views of the ocean making the “House on the Rocks” a modern and innovative summer escape and a fun sight for tourists who can view the house from the shore.

Know Before You Go

The house can be seen from land or water via Jamestown, Rhode Island.

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June 24, 2011

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