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Fort Charles, Port Royal

Categories: Historic Sites, Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 35+ 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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  • Port Royal and Fort Charles have great historical value. It is rich with history, there are so many questions that I had about that period...I mean come on Port Royal was once considered the "wickedes...  read more »
  • The potential from an historic and income generating perspective is immense! Just needs some though (which I'm sure has been given), and commitment (which seems to be lacking). 
  • Great guide, great history and phenomenal artifacts. I suspect my ancestors came through Port Charles so it was quite interesting to view the affects it produced throughout Jamaica. 
  • 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
  • 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
  • Interesting History!
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