According to HJ, their tests indicate that the Tower was built not earlier than 1635 AD, and most likely in the range 1651-1679.Architect Suzanne Carlson, writing already in 1996 in response to the 1994 Danish original of Hertz's article, persuasively refutes Hertz's architectural and historical objections: Even Johannes Brnsted, whom Hertz approvingly cites, admitted that "the Romanesque lines of the tower are so striking that if the tower stood in Europe, probably no one would contradict a date in the middle ages" (in Hertz 1997, p. Carlson argues that Chesterton Mill was in fact built as an observatory, and only much later converted to use as a mill.The tower has a height of 28 feet (8.5 m) and an exterior width of 24 feet (7.3 m).
Eighteenth-century paintings show that the hill itself once furnished a view of the harbor and would have been visible to passing mariners in Narragansett Bay, but recent tree growth now obscures the view. From southeast to northwest, the diameter reportedly measures 22 feet 2 inches (6.76 m) but, when measured from east to west, the diameter lengthens to 23 feet 3 inches (7.09 m).
However, the 19th century measurements of the interior gave an east-west dimension of 18 feet 4 inches (5.59 m), which was slightly shorter than the north-south measurement of 19 feet 9 inches (6.02 m), suggesting that the discrepancies may be due to the unevenness of the rubble masonry.
Godfrey found indisputably colonial artifacts at the bottom of a trench that surrounds the foundations.
He extensively discusses the recent carbon-14 dating of the mortar by Jan Heinemeier and Hgne Jungner (HJ, 1994).
She points out that the trench discovered during the 1948-9 survey makes sense as part of a colonial repair of a pre-existing tower for use as a windmill, after an earlier mill blew down in 1675.
Furthermore, this trench does not work as part of the original construction, because it lacks any evidence of the presence of the staging that would have been necessary to have supported the arches.Perched atop a hill in Newport, Rhode Island, an old stone tower stands as one of this country's longest enduring architectural enigmas.Known by many names, including the Viking Tower, Old Stone Mill, and Mystery Tower, today this landmark is more commonly known as the Newport Tower.Instead, its backfill contains thousands of mortar fragments, as would be expected if it were opened as part of a repair operation.However, Carlson admits that she, as an architect, does not understand the highly technical carbon-14 dating of the mortar.Most archeologists maintain that the tower was built in Colonial times and that there is no mystery surrounding its construction.