In commemoration of our sixty (60) years of Independence, we seize this opportunity to explore a remnant of Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial past. Fort George is located to the West of Port of Spain, perched upon the hills, overlooking St. James and the sea, protected by now inactive heavy artillery.
It was built in 1804 as part of a series of forts that provided defence for the capital and its harbour against the attacks of European invaders, initiated by Brigadier-General Sir Thomas Hislop. The fort was most prominent among the network of military defences which included the York, Cumberland, Princess Charlotte, Abercromby and Cambridge that mounted the nearby slopes.
It was the gem of the hills in its day, with the pride of locals believing it to be most impenetrable, a succor for ages to come. However, fate had it that it would never be used for military operations. Though it did not fulfil its purpose, it still provided a shelter in uncertain times. The vault hidden within its walls was used to store important documents, records, cash, valuables and more of citizens during hearsay of war.
As a result, it ceased being a military post in 1846 and was converted to a signalling station in 1902, desgined by Prince Kofi Nti, son of the great King Kofi Calcali of the Ashanti region in West Africa. He became a ward of the British Government after a war with the Ashanti people in 1872.
Transitioning to present, Fort George stands as a mere memorial of our heritage and history. It now serves as a tourist attraction, a site where people visit to peer into Trinidad and Tobago’s past and to soulfully relax. Its foundation serves not only as a junction between the past and present but also the ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life as it stands surrounded by forested hills consisting of a variety of flora and fauna and the nearby beaches.
Just imagine the splendour and awe it was viewed with in its glory days. We hope its story never fades.
Did you enjoy this segment? Have you ever been to Fort George? Let us know in the comments.
Happy Independence Day!