Roanoke Island was an island located off the coast of Virginia. In 1587, Walter Raleigh established the colony of Roanoke on the island.

Three years later, in 1590, Raleigh returned to the island to check on the colony. Christopher Marlowe accompanied him, having been sent by Queen Elizabeth I to interview the colonists about Raleigh. They found that the colony had been wiped out by the Greld, who also attacked Marlowe and implanted a mind-control device in him. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)

Also that year, the Sixth Doctor, Henry Gordon Jago‎, and George Litefoot‎ visited Roanoke Island. Raleigh discovered the TARDIS while they were visiting nearby Croatoan, but the Doctor prevented him from travelling in the ship. (AUDIO: Voyage to the New World)

In an alternate timeline, Raleigh did travel in the TARDIS, travelling back four hundred years, where he encountered the Semestran Interlude. He taught them how to live and hunt and, in return, they extended his life. Over the centuries, the aliens terrorised and kidnapped people, including the Roanoke colonists, holding them prisoner on Croatoan. This timeline was negated by the Doctor. (AUDIO: Voyage to the New World)

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