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Fort Charles, Port Royal

(4.2/5 based on 40+ reviews on the web)
Fort Charles was built between 1650 and 1660, the first fort constructed in Port Royal, Jamaica.HistoryThe fort was originally called Fort Cromwell but subsequently renamed.In 1667 it had 36 guns while in 1765 it had 104 guns and a garrison of 500 men.It was damaged by both the 1692 Jamaica earthquake and the 1907 Kingston earthquake which later resulted in the tilting of the Giddy House, now a minor tourist attraction.LocationFort Charles is located in the small town of Port Royal, Jamaica. The town was founded on a natural harbor in which Fort Charles stands at the entrance to. According to Donny L. Hamilton, the fort was situated at the tip of the sand spit separating the Kingston Harbor for the Caribbean. The fort is almost completely surrounded by water.HistoryFort Charles was built in 1655. In 1654, Jamaica was under Spanish control and Spain was at war with England. Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, sent an expedition to invade the Spanish island Hispaniola. When the expedition failed, its leaders did not want to return home in shame. They turned their attention to capturing Jamaica, which was poorly defended. The buccaneer Henry Morgan was a member of the invading force led by Penn and Venables. By May 1655, the English gained control of the island, and began construction of Fort Cromwell to defend their new acquisition.SceneryFort Charles was built in the shape of a ship. According to Don Philpott, the fort is very well preserved with its rows of semi-circular gun ports. Inside of every other row on the outer wall of the fort are cannons lined adjacently. According to Amitabh Sharma, “The red-bricked asymmetrical fortification once stood guard, warding off intruders and intimidating them with a battery of high caliber guns that were strategically mounted in the periphery” (page 2).
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This place has everything to be exploited and transformed into a place of high tourist attraction. Its history dates back to the 1600 visits by pirates, with earthquakes and hurricanes, they recall the distant past. The view toward various points, could be another alternative to enjoy.
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  • We visited Fort Charles around noon on a Sunday, with rain clouds gathering just off the coast. We walked to the small museum buildings, which as other reviewers have said, has just a few artifacts, w...  more »
  • This was my third time visiting Port Royal and I loved it just the same, as always I was sure to stop by Giddy house. Nothing but great things to say about Port Royal, perfectly preserved piece of His...  more »
Google
  • Not what I was expecting! Not a touristy place at all but a must see if you're interested in the history and culture of Jamaica. The guides were both amazing and the whole place is very authentic. Would recommend.
  • I hear its haunted, but you can check for yourself. The ghosts didn't bother me. lol
  • This place is very interesting my grandmother is a tour guide their 😁😙😚😘😗☺😜😀😃😄😛😊💓💛💙💜😛😜😎😆😏
  • Nice place to visit though not much to see in the museum.anything valuable had gone. The fort was well constructed and view from the beach was lovely. Nice little restaurant nearby. Real fresh and tasty fish😉
  • Took my aunt's here for a day trip, it's quite the lovely spot though a guide would've been ideal