Dr Harris: Additional Fort Listings Would Enhance

January 26, 2018

Should additional forts in Bermuda be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Bermudians could “claim the island as world heritage, which is what it is,” Dr Edward Harris said, adding that it would not dilute the value of the currently listed forts in St. George’s, but “enhance the World Heritage Site by reason of the importance of the additional sites.”


Dr. Harris — an expert on the island’s forts and the former executive director of the National Museum of Bermuda — was speaking after former St George’s Mayor Henry Hayward told the Royal Gazette that if this goes ahead, the UNESCO designation “would cover essentially the whole island” and the “significance of St George’s would be diluted.”

“In October 2017, Lt. Col. David Burch, Minister of Public Works proposed in the House of Assembly that steps be taken to add additional forts to Bermuda’s World Heritage Site,” Dr Harris said.

“Such a concept, especially for the Dockyard fortifications, had been recommended by the UNESCO advisory body when the original inscription was awarded for the World Heritage Site of the Town of St. George’s and Associated Fortifications in November 2000.

1. Fort Hamilton 2017_edited-1

“As stated at UNESCO website, “The inscribed property contains all the elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value and is of adequate size to ensure the complete representation of the features which convey its significance. To complete the continuum of fortifications in Bermuda, consideration should be given at a future date to adding the remaining fortifications to the list, especially the major fort at the Dockyard. The integrity is high but work is needed on the maintenance of some of the forts.”

“The proposed additions were reiterated by UNESCO as a consequence of the 2014 Management Report by the local World Heritage Site Committee and in late 2017, the Bermuda Government decided it was time to act on the matter and engaged with the National Museum to prepare a proposal and assess the possibility of adding the four significant western forts of Hamilton, Whale Bay, Scaur Hill and the Dockyard to Bermuda’s World Heritage Site. This was now particularly relevant as significant conservation work had been carried-out on those fortifications since the year 2000.


“The Government recognizes the value of preserving such monuments for cultural tourism. St. George’s has seen the benefits of its preservation and the more recent restorations of the National Museum Dockyard fortifications continues to demonstrate the value of such work, attracting and holding visitors to the west end of Bermuda. Likewise, the Corporation of Hamilton has done a wonderful job since 2000 in preserving Fort Hamilton, which is one of the major attractions in the centre of Bermuda.

“Should these additional forts be added to the World Heritage Site, they would only enhance the nature of the Site in Bermuda and from end to end, Bermudians could claim the island as world heritage, which is what it is. The addition of those forts would also bring the additional strength of the Corporation of Hamilton and the National Museum in support of Bermuda’s World Heritage Site.

“The additions in no way would dilute the value of the town of St. George’s and the forts in St. George’s Parish, but could only enhance the World Heritage Site by reason of the importance of the additional sites and the power of the organizations that run them, namely, the Government, the Corporation of Hamilton and the National Museum.

3. Scaur Hill Fort new gun_edited-1

“It has been eighteen years since UNESCO’s recommendation to expand the Bermuda sites was embedded in the World Heritage Site inscription and due to the improvements of the proposed additional sites, the Government recognizes it is now time to act and has been encouraged to do so by heritage authorities in London. Due to the detailed information needed, the proposal will likely be submitted later in 2018.”

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] currently list 1,073 sites worldwide as World Heritage Sites.

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  1. facts of the rock says:

    It wont make any difference if Bermuda dosnt deal with the current drug and gang related problems and stop this stupid backward step with SSM