Venture into the enthralling underground passageways and see the views from the top of this imposing fort.
Fort Charlotte is the largest of the three historic forts in New Providence, encompassing more than 100 acres (40 hectares). Gain a compelling insight into the island’s military history from its well-preserved dungeons, ramparts and drawbridges illuminated by informative exhibits and guided tours.
The fort was built between 1787 and 1790 to guard the west entrance to Nassau Harbour. It was named after King George III’s wife Queen Saharia Charlotte and the project was overseen by British colonial governor Lord Dunmore. The construction cost much more than originally budgeted, causing the fort to be nicknamed “Dunmore's Folly.” Later Fort Stanley and Fort d’Arcy were added to the original structure. The fort was ultimately never used in battle. See some of the original 42 cannons on display, none of which ever fired a shot.
The fort is surrounded by a dry moat and is accessible via a wooden drawbridge on its south side. As you walk across the wooden drawbridge, look for grooves in the fort’s limestone exterior indicating where the drawbridge once rested when raised. Follow the staircase down into the fort’s dungeons, which once served as sleeping quarters and storage areas.
The fort is well marked with signs and interactive displays explaining various interesting facts about its long history. Don’t miss the recreated torture chamber. This popular macabre attraction features torture devices, including one on which prisoners were once stretched.
Fort Charlotte is set in a commanding position on a hill overlooking the far western end of the harbor. Stroll around the battlements and enjoy the dramatic views of Nassau, the harbor, Paradise Island and the ocean, which are all visible from the top.
You’ll find Fort Charlotte 2 miles (3 kilometers) west of downtown Nassau over a bridge to Arawak Cay. The fort has an admission fee, but children under 5 year of age can enter for free. Explore the fort at your own pace or take a family-friendly tour offered by costumed guides for a tip.