• Officers at Fort Jay, 1912.

    Governors Island

    National Monument New York

Explore Castle Williams

A ranger shows visitors one of the exhibits in Castle Williams
A ranger shows visitors an exhibit inside Castle Williams
NPS Photo

Castle Williams, the centerpiece of the system of fortifications designed to guard New York City just prior to the War of 1812, has long been off-limits to the public. After an extensive rehabilitation project, the National Park Service is pleased to open the Castle's interior and roof to the public for the first time in the fort's 200-year history.

Castle Williams will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 AM till 5:30 PM for the entire public access season (May 24 till September 28, 2014). Access to the Castle's first floor and its museum exhibits is free and unrestricted.

Tours of the Castle that take visitors through all three levels and the roof run every half hour, 11 AM till 5 PM except Thursdays, when tours run from 11 AM till 1:30 PM. Tours are approximately 30 minutes in length and require a free ticket. Tickets are available one hour before each tour begins, and may be picked up inside the Castle. No one will be permitted into the Castle's upper floors without a ticket.

Visitors are advised that tours require climbing three flights of stairs. The Castle's upper floors are not handicap-accessible.

No reservations for tickets are available. Large groups are advised to visit the Castle early in the day when crowds are thinner.

We look forward to seeing you at Castle Williams this summer!

Did You Know?

nature in NY

Most of the trees on Governors Island are fairly young. Large shrubbery was removed to provide a clear line of cannon fire to enemy ships that might have entered New York Harbor. The reintroduction of trees in the 1870s reflects the island’s transition from a fortification into a residential community.