Fort St. Catherine (Bermuda)
St. George See list of castles in Bermuda
Situated at the northern tip of St George’s Parish, Fort St Catherine overlooks the beach where Sir George Somers and his shipwrecked crew scrambled ashore in 1609. Three years later Richard Moore, Bermuda’s first governor, arrived here with 60 settlers on the Plough. Almost immediately he began construction of a wooden fort here to defend the area from possible Spanish attack.
The fort was been rebuilt several times over the next three centuries; first in the early 1700’s, and most recently in the 1860’s and 70’s. The last development saw the British Royal Engineers build concrete firing positions and fit them with huge 18 tonne 10 inch rifled muzzle-loading (RML) guns. Their purpose was to defend the approach to Royal Naval Dockyard. The guns are extremely rare. Most other examples, in Britain and elsewhere, were melted down after becoming obsolete.
.In the first half of the 20th century the fort had fell into disuse, but since 1951 has operated as a museum and national park. A huge refurbishment project by the Department of Parks was completed in the summer of 2012. There are new exhibits on display, better signage and information, and many areas, previously off limits, have been opened up.
Visitors access the fort via a wooden bridge that crosses a defensive ditch. Displays in the main exhibition area include replicas of the Crown Jewels, period weapons, models depicting the fort’s evolution over time, and the history of forts throughout Bermuda.