Fort King George

Fort King George tops the list of historical Tobago attractions and can be found atop a hill overlooking the scenic capital of Scarborough. Besides offering insight into the history of Tobago, Fort King George also rewards its visitors with some supreme views of Scarborough and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s easy to see why the British built Fort King George where they did, as it provides for quite a strategic vantage point. No visit to Scarborough would be complete without a trip up to this most historic site in Tobago, so you’ll want to set aside at least a few hours to enjoy it.

The history of Trinidad and Tobago features quite a lot of players from Europe, and among the countries that fought to assume control of this Caribbean island nation was Great Britain. British forces managed to gain the upper hand in the late 1700s, and they didn’t grant Trinidad and Tobago independence until 1962. To help guard the Tobago capital of Scarborough, the British forces built Fort King George in the 1770s. The fort would remain in operation until 1854, and for some of that time, it fell under control of French forces. Under France, the fort was renamed Fort Castries, though the original name would eventually be re-established. Fort King George was named in honor of King George III, who reigned over Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820.

Before Fort King George fell into disuse in 1854, the roofs of its buildings were blown off by strong winds in 1847. While it is fairly well-preserved, this historic fort in Tobago does lie mostly in ruins, which gives testament to its age. Among the ruins are a military hospital, an officers’ mess hall, and a prison. Several cannons are stabilized around the compound, many facing the sea. One of the buildings at Fort King George, namely the former guardhouse, was transformed into a wonderful museum. The Tobago Museum is a great place to learn more about the history of the island, and among the exhibits are weapons, old maps and photographs, and pre-Columbian artifacts that were unearthed in the area.

You can also find a Fine Arts Centre at the base of the Fort King George complex. Between it, the fort’s ruins, and the Tobago Museum, you’ll enjoy quite an array of Tobago attractions when ascending Mt. St. George. It’s just a short drive to get to the top of the hill, and for those who are wondering, the King George Fort in Tobago rests at an altitude of 425 feet above sea level. As mentioned, the views from this vantage point are spectacular, and they are worth the trip up on their own. You will have to pay a small fee to access the Fort King George ruins and the Tobago Museum, which are open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Other Tobago attractions that you won’t want to miss include the island’s picturesque beaches, the interior hiking trails, and the Buccoo Reef. For those with extra time on their hands during a Tobago visit, the village of Charlotteville is a great place to spend some time while on the island, so you can consider heading there after seeing what Scarborough has to offer. There is also another historic fort in Tobago that might interest you. Found on a perch near the town of Plymouth are the ruins of Fort James, which was built in 1768.

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