Sitting in all its majesty, overlooking the St. George’s harbour, is Fort Frederick, one of the bestpreserved bastions in the Caribbean. Interestingly, this fort which was very much a part of the struggle between the French and British for control of the island, never fired a single cannon in anger, though it was built to protect the harbour’s eastern entrance. Started by the French in 1779 and finished by the English in 1783, Fort Frederick is positioned 244 meters (800 feet) above sea level. It offers striking panoramic views of the island from the picturesque Carenage close by and the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea to the rolling mountain ridges in the north covered in lush vegetation and quaint houses. The Fort is perfect for striking photos.
Visitors – XCD $5.34 or USD $2.00
After the French recaptured Grenada in 1779, they realized how difficult their assault on Hospital Hill would have been had there existed forts to the east of the town. The Legislature quickly acquired Morne Latoniere, the 86-acre estate of Hon. William Lucas. They began the building of a series of Forts namely Matthew, Frederick, Lucas, Adolphus, and Morne Cardigan. The area was called Richmond Hill, meaning strong Hill.
Fort Frederick consists of 4 levels, the upper level called the place of arms with is powder magazine, the second level with water cisterns, encasement chambers and gun batteries, and the third level, an interesting network of tunnels built for provision stores.
Locally, Fort Frederick was referred to as one of the backward facing forts. Fearing a similar attack, with Fort George dominated by higher grounds, the majority of the guns were positioned facing inland against hills as Morne Gillette, Mt. Parnassus, Mt. Helen, and Mt. Maitland.
During the 1979 Grenada Revolution, Fort Frederick was used as the headquarters of the motorized division of the then People’s revolutionary Army-PRA. The Central Committee led by Maurice Bishop held meetings on this Fort during the later revolutionary period of 1983. On 19 October 1983, while a meeting was being held on Fort Frederick, the head of the PRA Lieutenant Colonel Ewart Layne gave orders for the military recapture or retake of Fort George. Prime Minister Maurice and other cabinet members were killed, and this led to the US Intervention (Operation Urgent Fury) on 25 October 1983.
It was reported, that as a result of the placement of the PRA’s flag, from Fort Frederick and the mounting of an anti-aircraft battery within the courtyard of the near by Fort Matthew (then mental institution), there was an attack on Fort Matthew. It was mistakenly bombed by the US Jets, resulting in the death on many inmates. It is believed that members on the Revolutionary Military Council hid themselves within the chambers of Fort Frederick during this attack.
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