Overlooking the city of Nassau, these historic ruins were once responsible for protecting the city from invading forces.
Climb to the top of Nassau’s historic Bennet’s Hill to see the ruins of the city fortress. Built by the former royal governor, Lord Dunmore, in 1793, the small Fort Fincastle served as protection for the city as well as a lighthouse for more than a century. Today, the ruins of the fort provide a dramatic backdrop to the panoramic views seen from Bennet’s Hill. Despite succumbing to the elements over the years, the ruins still feature a number of historic relics including replicas of the cannons that protected the city. History enthusiasts will appreciate this piece of Nassau’s military past, while amateur photographers will love the opportunity to capture the best views on the island.
Arrive at the fort by climbing the 65 steps of the Queen’s Staircase. Built in the same year as the fortress, the stairs provided a quick route to the fort in the event of invasion, which never occurred. Replicas of the seven pieces of artillery that protected the city can be seen positioned overlooking the city. Cannons included two 32-pounders, two 24-pounders, two 12-pounders and a howitzer cannon.
Guided tours are offered at the fort each day by locals and provide a detailed history of the fort. Guides are unofficial and work for tips, but are genuinely passionate about their local history and worth the small fee. Learn about the construction methods, navigational uses and military postings of the fort as you are shown around the fascinating remaining relics. Signs are present throughout the fort for those wanting to explore on their own.
Fort Fincastle is located atop Bennet’s Hill, in central Nassau. It can be reached on foot from many downtown locations, but free parking is also available at the summit of the hill. The fort is free to enter and open daily.