© 2019 St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust
The St. Vincent & the Grenadines National Trust

Fort Charlotte

As Admiral Nelson’s fleet went into battle against Napoleon’s Navy, thousands of miles away in Kingstown a fort was being constructed using slave labour. Completed in 1806, Fort Charlotte was named after the wife of King George III and appears to be a conventional Napoleonic era fort guarding Kingstown harbour; but there is something unusual about the fort on the hill — its guns all point inland. The reason for this is because the commanders of the garrison were not worried about a naval invasion by a European power. They were worried about the Black Caribs — the descendants of the indigenous population and shipwrecked escaped slaves. These fearsome tribes controlled the interior of St Vincent and had caused mayhem in 1779 when they allied with a French invasion force. While the French were landing at Calliaqua, the Black Caribs, under the leadership of Chief Chattoyér, tore through the settlements of St Vincent, burning sugar plantations, overrunning the colony’s weak defenses and seeking vengeance for atrocities committed by white settlers. The French successfully took St Vincent. Chattoyér was killed in action, possibly in a duel with a certain Major Leith, who is buried in the Anglican Cathedral far below the fort. It was a repeat of 1779 uprising that the British had in mind when they commissioned Fort Charlotte. A series of paintings in the old bakery on the site tells this Story of Chattoyér and the Black Caribs. One hundred eighty-three metres (~600 feet) above the bay, the views from the parapets of Fort Charlotte are breathtaking. On a clear day you can see the Grenadine Islands and Grenada to the south. Below the fort lies the small but fast-paced city of Kingstown with ferries to Bequia and the Grenadine Islands coming and going from the opposite side of the bay. The fort is accessible by road but the walk up is breathtaking and takes about half an hour. Don’t miss: • The pool on the rocks below, used for bathing lepers in the 19th century • The signal station above the gate • The views of Mount St Andrews and the interior
© 2019 St. Vincent & the Grenadines National Trust
The St. Vincent & the Grenadines National Trust

Fort Charlotte

As Admiral Nelson’s fleet went into battle against Napoleon’s Navy, thousands of miles away in Kingstown a fort was being constructed using slave labour. Completed in 1806, Fort Charlotte was named after the wife of King George III and appears to be a conventional Napoleonic era fort guarding Kingstown harbour; but there is something unusual about the fort on the hill — its guns all point inland. The reason for this is because the commanders of the garrison were not worried about a naval invasion by a European power. They were worried about the Black Caribs — the descendants of the indigenous population and shipwrecked escaped slaves. These fearsome tribes controlled the interior of St Vincent and had caused mayhem in 1779 when they allied with a French invasion force. While the French were landing at Calliaqua, the Black Caribs, under the leadership of Chief Chattoyér, tore through the settlements of St Vincent, burning sugar plantations, overrunning the colony’s weak defenses and seeking vengeance for atrocities committed by white settlers. The French successfully took St Vincent. Chattoyér was killed in action, possibly in a duel with a certain Major Leith, who is buried in the Anglican Cathedral far below the fort. It was a repeat of 1779 uprising that the British had in mind when they commissioned Fort Charlotte. A series of paintings in the old bakery on the site tells this Story of Chattoyér and the Black Caribs. One hundred eighty-three metres (~600 feet) above the bay, the views from the parapets of Fort Charlotte are breathtaking. On a clear day you can see the Grenadine Islands and Grenada to the south. Below the fort lies the small but fast-paced city of Kingstown with ferries to Bequia and the Grenadine Islands coming and going from the opposite side of the bay. The fort is accessible by road but the walk up is breathtaking and takes about half an hour. Don’t miss: • The pool on the rocks below, used for bathing lepers in the 19th century • The signal station above the gate • The views of Mount St Andrews and the interior