Photos/Video: Fort St Catherine Open House

May 26, 2012

In celebration of Heritage Month, the Department of Parks today [May 26] hosted an open house at Fort St. Catherine in St. George’s. The fort was opened to encourage the public to come out and see the recently completed renovations and new exhibits.

Fort St. Catherine is a part of the east end UNESCO World Heritage Site. The original fort was built around 1614 by Bermuda’s first governor, Richard Moore, and it was renovated and enlarged at least five times.

The existing fort was built over a period of time from 1840 – 1880 and was in use up until 1900. The St Catherine fort was defended by 5 canons, which each weighed 18 tons and fired shells weighing 400 pounds.

In the 1950s the then Trade Development Board turned the fort into a tourist attraction, and it once hosted a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth starring the late Charlton Heston.

While Fort St. Catherine has had some renovations and post-storm repairs over the years, several years ago it was decided that major refurbishments were need to revamp the exhibits.

A team from the Ministry of Public Works and the Department of Parks carried out extensive renovations and improvements over the past year.

Included was the renovation of the concrete roof covering the ditch in front of the Keep which houses the Auxiliary Stores Room, as well as new computerized displays, video and exhibits. A display was completed of the Crown Jewels which were returned to the Fort for display.

The Rifled Muzzle Loader has been repainted and refurbished as well as a US machine gun and new Interpretive Signs have been designed and installed. The 3 Rifled Muzzle Loader guns which were dumped onto Gates Bay have been removed and taken to Coopers Island for restoration.

Fort Manager Francine Trott said they received “a fantastic response” with many people coming out today. Fort staff supplied visitors with snacks and beverages and there was a display of a cannon firing performed throughout the day.

Parts of the fort that have not been accessible in the past have now been opened to the public, including the very top of the fort which offers an island wide view.

Click to enlarge photos:

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Category: All, History, News, News, Photos

Comments (4)

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  1. This appears to be a brilliant renovation, one I would like to visit. When I used to walk over it in the 1960′s, I never dreamt – or even thought about – what was under my feet. In these hard bitten times, well done Bermuda for a little more preservation.

  2. Happy Bermudian says:

    This is such an important part of our history and the dusty old displays definitely needed an upgrade.. Congratulations to the refurbishment team from Public Works and Parks. It looks great!

  3. Further: What a delightful lady is Francine and such a great Bermuda accent.

  4. Rapp Bermy!! says:

    We have so much history on this island :} I luv the pics and video!! We r goin really good for ourselves, keep it up Bermy!!!!