Island Paradise: Spectacular 100 Year Old House on a Rock


In Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, a truly unusual home sits perched atop a jutting rock. Its owner and principal restorer, Henry Wood, has turned the beautiful home into a green, sustainable home with its own dedicated work force.

In the 40 years since Wood and his wife purchased Clingstone (known to locals as The House on a Rock), Wood, a working architect, has poured his talents and his energy into restoring and improving the incredible 10,000 square foot, 10-bedroom mansion. It sat empty for some 20 years before Wood and his ex-wife purchased it in 1961 for $3,600.

Some projects the family has already completed include installing a windmill on the top of the house to generate electricity, installing photovoltaic cells for hot water, and putting in low-water composting toilets. According to the family, the house is completely “off grid.”

Wood and his family spend most weekends there from spring until fall – except on weekends when renters have the run of the place. The breathtaking 360 degree water views are enough to make anyone want to spend time at the house – even if that time is spent working on various projects.

In addition to the weekly sessions Wood puts in at the home, there is a massive gathering around Memorial Day every year: the Clingstone Work Weekend. Dozens of friends, family members and admirers of the unusual home get together to tackle big projects and share in the ridiculously gorgeous home and its serene setting.

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