Historical Forts of Nassau
With the advent of settlements in the Islands of The Bahamas, there was a need to protect the inhabitants from invasions by various fractioning powers. Throughout the islands are remnants of military installations of mounted guns, cannons, batteries and fortifications.
The most significant sites are the Fort Charlotte complex, on West Bay Street comprising Charlotte, d’Arcy and Stanley and the advanced guardhouse. A barracks once stood on the site of the parking lot. Fort Fincastle, in the heart of downtown Nassau, shares Bennett’s Hill with the Water Tower and overlooks the Queen’s Staircase. It was during the governorship of Lord Dunmore that most of the forts were built. Fort Montagu the earliest remaining fort stands just off East Bay Street and across the harbour from Paradise Island. Most of the islands in the archipelago have some remnants of a military site be it battery or gun mount. Winton Battery is on the eastern end of New Providence and the remains of the Hog Island Battery are still on Paradise Island as is Bladen’s Battery at Potter’s Cay just east of the Paradise Island Bridge.
Today these sites are major attractions restored with exhibits and generally open for public viewing.
Fort Montagu Nassau Bahamas was finished the latter end July, 1742, and mounted eight 18, three 9, and six 6 pounders. Within the fort is a terraced cistern, containing thirty tons,of ram water and so contrived as to receive all that falls within the fort, with a drain to carry off the superfluous water; there are barracks for officers and soldiers, a guard room, and powder magazine, bomb proof, to contain ninety-five barrels of powder; two of its sides are close upon the sea, and the two land sides are well secured by mastich pallisades.
When the fort was finished, I invited the Governor and principal inhabitants to it, and then delivered His Excellency the keys thereof, under a discharge of all the cannon. The Governor and inhabitants were now extremely well pleased to consider themselves in a condition to repel the invasion of an enemy, as the back door through which the place often had been surprised, was now shut up.”
Take a tour of Fort Charlotte, Nassau Bahamas. Fort Charlotte is the largest and most interesting of the three forts found in Nassau. Built in 1789 by Lord Dunmore and named in honor of the wife of King George III.This fort has never fired a shot in Battle. It includes a water-less moat, draw-bridge, ramparts and dungeons. Fort Charlotte commands a fine view of Nassau Harbor.
In a letter to the Secretary of State of February 17, 1794, he describes it as “a battery upon a hill in this island to the Eastwards of the Government House mounting two 24 pounders, two 32 pounder Carronades, two 12 pounders, and one Howitzer, which not only covers the Battery in Hog Island (Paradise Island) but all the Town and Road to the Eastward where the enemy might probably have effected a landing.”
Fort Charlotte is amazing
I got to visit Fort Charlotte with my kids and it's a awesome fort! The kids have been making replicas out of blankets since we got home. It's a really interesting fort and tour. It has such an amazing history and great education for kids.