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Fort George - Cayman Islands
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member kJfishman
N 19° 17.800 W 081° 22.982
17Q E 459757 N 2133697
Quick Description: Fort George stands on the corner of Harbour Drive and Fort Street in George Town
Location: Cayman Islands
Date Posted: 7/23/2014 12:06:11 PM
Waymark Code: WMM56P
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 3

Long Description:
Not too much remains but the people were able to save a little of the historic fort.

"What remains of Fort George stands on the corner of Harbour Drive and Fort Street in George Town, Grand Cayman. The Fort once stood overlooking the harbour, but development has landlocked this historic site. Today's visitor will see its low stone walls adjacent to the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal and may wonder when it was built and why so little is left of it!

The origins and early history of the Fort are uncertain. It is known that in 1662, the new Governor of Jamaica, Lord Windsor, received royal instructions to take charge of the "Caimanes Islands ... by planting and raising Fortifications upon them." Although there was some settlement, however, the task of fortifying the small outpost was not undertaken until sometime around 1790.

Fort George was built by Caymanians using local coral rock and limestone. Its design was based very much on the typical military battery being built by the English at around that time. The oval base of the Fort measured approximately 57 feet by 38 feet. There were eight embrasures for cannon around the sides and a mahogany gate on the landward side.

The walls ranged in thickness from two feet on the landward side to five feet on the seaward side, with coral rock facings surrounding a limestone rubble core. The walls were only about five feet tall, perhaps implying that the defence requirements were not deemed to be very great. Certainly in 1802, when Edward Corbet came to Grand Cayman to compile a report for the Governor of Jamaica, he found the Fort "by no means well equipped" with only "three guns, four to six pounders", rather than the eight required by the original scheme.

The purpose of the Fort was to defend Grand Cayman from attacks by Spanish marauders from Cuba. The heyday of piracy on the high seas was over by this time, but there was still plenty of lawless activity around. Fishing and turtling fleets were locked in fierce competition with each other. Caymanians were not very comfortable with the knowledge that they were so close to the Spanish colony of Cuba and the possibility of an attack.

Manned by a local militia, Fort George commanded control of the principal harbour of the three islands. There are no official records though of it ever being used to ward off marauders - from Cuba or anywhere else!

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the Fort enclosure was sand-bottomed. Children from the adjacent school used to play in it, under the shade of a huge silk cotton (kapok) tree, which stood right beside it. Older Caymanians remember that two large cannon and a thick chain were there too - but these were not the remains of the original set of three cannon, they have disappeared.

During World War II, the tall silk cotton tree was used as a lookout post. The Home Guard, whose barracks were next to the Fort at Dobson Hall, would climb up into its branches to watch for German submarines. There were many of these patrolling Caribbean waters, hunting for merchant ships setting out to cross the Atlantic with supplies bound for English ports." (visit link)
The year the "Fort" was constructed or started.: 1662

Name of "Country" or "Nation" that constructed this "Fort": Cayman islands

Was this "Fort" involved in any armed conflicts?: Yes it was

What was the primary purpose of this "Historic Fort"?: Used for defence of a border or land claim.

Current condition: Not much left

This site is administered by ----: National trust of the Cayman's

If admission is charged -: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Open to the public?: Open or unrestricted access.

Link to web-site that best describes this "Historic Fort": [Web Link]

Official or advertised web-page: Not listed

Link if this "Fort" is registered on your Countries/ State "Registry of Historical Sites or Buildi: Not listed

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