If you arrive in Bermuda by cruise ship at St George this may be one of the first sights you will see. Hopefully your voyage will be less perilous than that of Sir George Somers whose shipwrecked crew came ashore near here in 1609.
In 1612 Bermuda’s first governor, Richard Moore, arrived here from England with sixty settlers aboard the Plough. Moore, a carpenter by trade, built a wooden fort here to defend Bermuda from the Spaniards. Since then Fort St Catherine has been rebuilt several times, with most of the current structure dating from the late 19th century.
Nowadays, the fort houses a museum and is one of Bermuda’s most impressive structures. The powder magazine is home to a collection of antique weapons and in the old artillery store there is a gallery of dioramas depicting Bermuda’s history. The fort was defended by 5 Woolwich Rifled Muzzle Loader canons, each weighing 18 tons. The shells they fired weighed 400 pounds and were capable of penetrating thick iron plate. Also on display are replicas of the British Crown Jewels and an audiovisual presentation on the forts of St George’s. The fort is surrounded by a dry moat and accessed by a drawbridge.
Fort St Catherine is located north of the town of St George and is not on a major bus route. If you don’t have a scooter, you can catch a bus to St George and then catch one of the St George’s Minibus Service’s vehicles. They depart from King’s Square in St George. The lady in the Visitor Information Centre will point out the minibus if you are unsure.