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Fort Albert & Fort Victoria in Bermuda
Both the forts Albert and Victoria are located in Retreat Hill at St. George's Bermuda and are close to each other. They were built to protect the north eastern coastline of Bermuda. Fort Albert, named after Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert, was completed in 1842. It was built based on the specifications from Duke of Wellington, who was then the Master General of fortifications.
Fort Victoria, named after Queen Victoria, was also completed around the same time.
It was Colonel Edward Fanshawe of Royal Engineers who suggested that another fort at the Retreat Hill would strengthen the defense of Bermuda's eastern coastline. By then, the Royal Navy had built up the Dockyard at the western end of Bermuda. These two forts were primarily used to protect the Royal Naval Dockyard from invasion by enemy vessels trying to make their way through the northern channel.
Both Albert fort and Victoria fort were made from solid limestone rocks. Expenses were all borne by the British Army.
Fort Albert was of pentagonal shape and surrounded by moats. It had three different types of artillery provisions - cannons for low long-range targets, howitzers for higher short range, and mortars for high short range targets. The fort had provisions for housing of the officers and the gunners. In 1865, the fort was modernized with four 10-inch Rifled Muzzle Loaders.
Fort Victoria was surrounded by both inside and outside moats. It had eighteen 32-pound cannons installed. There was a 124-foot deep water well that was in use until World War II.
How to reach
Both the forts have become inaccessible to general public since the demolition of Club Med Hotel in 2008 which was located in the same area. A new hotel complex is planned to be built here. As a result of the demolition, Fort Victoria, which was once one of the finest forts is Bermuda, had been badly damaged.
Hopefully soon, the forts would be repaired and opened to the public once again. If you plan to visit St. Catherine's Fort, you can scramble up the slope to take a look at these mighty fortifications.
1) Check out Bermuda Forts to know about the historic forts in Bermuda.
2) Check out Bermuda Sightseeing for the top places to visit in Bermuda
3) Check out St. George's to find out other great attractions in the parish.
By Raj Bhattacharya
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