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Charles Fort

The Cleverley Hill Fort was built between 1678 and 1689 as a protecting fort and deodand. Forts were essential in this period to protect the English Caribbean settlements because it was too expensive to keep naval forces on each island and the best way to defend the settlements was to intercept, destroy and disperse the enemy at sea. In addition, the possibility of sudden attack was very real and settlements needed a place or women ad children to retreat to and a place to store valuable stocks in the times of attack. This Fort “has the honour to be the first substantial fort to accommodate an English garrison in St. Christopher’s.” (Manchester, p.18).

 Charles Fort was a military post from 1670 until it was abandoned in 1854. Some forty years later in 1890, it was used as Hansen Home (leper asylum). The home was later closed in 1996.

“Charles Fort is a significant cultural, historical and social resource for the people of St. Kitts and the Caribbean. The Fort’s integrity, as both military and hospital complex, has been retained, however, the fort is threatened by the adverse impact of further erosion of the sea cliff on the western side where significant damage to the southwest and northwest bastions has occurred.” (Schroedl, 200 p.iv)

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