Friday, February 26, 2016

The Gibraltar of The Caribbean - The Brimstone Fortress

After the unfortunate cannon deficit in San Juan, I was hoping to get some history in St. Kitts of a military and canonical nature and I was not disappointed.

Batik factory and a plantation house/hotel were very nice for my traveling companions, but there needed to be a fort and cannons on this tour, and there indeed was.

The Brimstone Fort is known as the Gibraltar of the Caribbean.

A dry moat separates the Citadel from the rest of the fort.

The first cannons were mounted on Brimstone Hill in 1690 as the English and French fought for control of the island, and the English kept on adding to the fortress after that and kept on upgrading and expanding it for a hundred years.

In 1782, a force of 8,000 French besieged the fortress with its 1,000 defenders from the Royal Scots and East Yorkshire regiments as well as local militia. The fortress held for a month before surrendering on February 12. The French, in recognition of the British force's gallantry allowed them to march out with all the honors of war. The fortress was ceded back to the British at the Treaty of Versailles and it was in use until abandoned in 1852.

The bastions had interlocking fields of fire for the fort to command the seas and ground near it.

The fort with its Citadel and multiple bastions has a commanding view of the town.

And views of the seas and neighboring islands.

Interestingly, the fort featured multiple shear drops in various locations, without any "watch your step signs" or safety railings, it was a rather different and healthy view on liability due to tourist stupidity should they fail to watch their step, I suppose.

Cannons were everywhere you looked, including a line of small ones to keep the parking lot and approaches under control.

Brimstone Fortress is a very impressive edifice at the top of a hills and a very nice restoration has been done by its historical society, making it a fantastic place to visit. The visitor center has an introductory film about the site and maps are provided for a walking tour of the entire fort, and I happily walked the grounds for as long as the time was allotted for the tour stop.

My cannon cravings sated, we headed back to the ship.


OldAFSarge said...



Murphy's Law said...

Most excellent. Should have brought some black powder.