Friday, December 12, 2008

Fort Cornwallis

Adjacent to the Esplanade is Fort Cornwallis, which marks the original spot where Captain Francis Light landed in 1786. In 1786, soon after took possession of Penang island, Francis Light erected a fort of nibong palms at the tip of the cape which called Fort Point and named after the Governor General in Bengal, Charles Cornwallis. This fort was later reconstructed in the same size, shape and layout with brick in 1793.

This is the entrance to Fort Cornwallis

The staffs at Fort Cornwallis dressed up in British Army uniform during the colonial period.

Admission fee is RM3 for adult and RM2 for children (below 12 years old)

Right after entering the fort, one will be greet by the statue of Francis Light. According to the facts, the sword around the waist of the statue is missing, believed to be melted to produce weapon during the Japanese occupation in Penang.

This is the layout of the fort. This star shaped fort reminds me of Kastellet (Citadel) in Copenhagen. Fort Corwallis was the first military and administrative base of the East india Company and the garrison of Fort Cornwallis consisted of a handful of Europeans who resided within the fort and Sepoys who dwelt in attap huts next to the fort.

Horses were spotted at the centre of the fort. One need to be careful not to get too close to these horses.

The chapel is located at the south west angle of the fort. This is the first chapel built in Penang and first recorded service which took place was the marriage of Francis Light's widow, Martina Rozells to John Timmers in 1799

I was rather disappointed with its interior and lack of exhibit inside the chapel

Behind this chapel was a store. Again, nothing particularly interesting here.

Here are some of the views taken from the South bastion of the fort.

The site where the horses were seen grazing the grass is actually an archaeology site

There are a lot of galleries which can be found at the South of this fort

There are prison cells here


Here are some of the exhibits at the gallery rooms. This potrait here is Colonel William Light, the son of Francis Light who is the founder of Adelaide, Australia.

Model canopy which was used by Francis Light when he first arrived in Penang Island

There is a stage at the centre of the fort

At the north east of the fort are the Harbour Light & Flagstaff. Unfortunately, visitor is not allowed to enter. The Harbour Light & Flagstaff were built in 1880. The Harbour Light was used to signal incoming ships and the flagstaff was used to announce the arrival of mail ships or the decent of of the Governor and other dignitaries from Penang Hill.

View around the North bastion of the fort

This is the Gunpowder Magazine. Constructed in 1814, located at the North West bastion of the fort. It was used to store explosive. It was designed to minimize the damage caused by an explosion

The famous cannon in this fort is the Seri Rambai Cannon. This cannon was presented to the Sultan of Johore by the Dutch. However, it was later given to Acheh and installed at Kuala Selangor. Finally, this cannon was seized by the British and installed here at the North West Bastion of the fort in 1871

The site where the Seri Rambai Cannon is located offer a spectacular view of the sea and its surrounding. I practically sat there and enjoy the sea breeze and the view for about 15 minutes or so.

This is a small fort. Even the surrounding walls are not high as I expected for a fort. I reckon this fort is easily breached if a full scale attack was launch back then.

Somewhere inside the fort, one has an opportunity to hold a snake and take photos with it. This Japanese tourist was really scare at the time.

In a nutshell, Fort Cornwallis is worth a visit. I spent about 90 minutes here.

15 comments:

chrisau said...

Thanks for another great post, BF. It's a pity the Penang govt didn't maintained the place well. This is quite similar to Fort Siloso of Sentosa Is, Singapore. However, Fort Siloso was nicely maintained.

Johnny Ong said...

good place to learn abt history

Gorgeous Ol' Eve Loves Vanilla. You? said...

The guard is not white! LOL

TZ said...

Guard not white?! better than no guard .... hahaha I think this place can be improved even further with some guide explaining the history of this place...

Jenny said...

The staff had to wear like that under this crazy weather ?

PUSANG-gala said...

looks very similar to our walled city here in the Philippines---Intramuros.......

amycheah said...

Let's give Mr.Lim GE some time to "fix" Penang up. And hopefully he manage to do so ...

Ju Ann said...

I din even know theres such a place in penang!! thanks for sharing!

the donG said...

it's my first time to see someone not british wearing the british army uniform. cool!

eunice said...

oh u went in? I only stood outside to take pictures. How much is the entrance fee? I cheapo one, if need to pay usually I won't go in hehe.

"This is a small fort. Even the surrounding walls are not high as I expected for a fort. I reckon this fort is easily breached if a full scale attack was launch back then." - it's true! I read from wiki that this fort was built wrongly, sort of facing the wrong direction or wat, and couldn't defence.

Borneo Falcon said...

Compare to Fort Siloso in Singapore, Fort Cornwallis is a pale shadow in term of exhibit and maintenance.

However, the entrance fee is only RM3 as for SGD8 for fort Siloso

kegler747 said...

I will definitely go here when I visit again Penang next year.

Bengbeng said...

thanks for the info. i will visit it next week.

WanWan said...

Been here about 8 years ago.. never explore so deep.. nice post...

Jason Law said...

You visit more than I do...Although I am a penangite

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