Sitting on top of a hill just at the outskirts of the city, Fort Hamilton is a nice destination for a short leisure walk. It is a good destination for all ages. Picnics can also be fun here.
History of Fort Hamilton, Bermuda
During the time of American Civil War between 1861 and 1865, the British Forces started a massive fortification on the island. On a later period, along with other forts, the construction of Fort Hamilton began in 1868. However, it was abruptly abandoned in 1888.
The fort could have been part of the defense for The Royal Naval facilities in Dockyard, the City of Hamilton and a garrison at Prospect.
Left unfinished, it became a garbage dumping ground. Fortunately, the restoration of the fort commenced in 1964 and in 21 June 1967, it was officially opened as a park.
The fort is strategically located on a higher ground overlooking the City of Hamilton. Parts of Paget Parish can also be seen from the top. It offers a spectacular postcard perfect view of the harbor.
The Fort That Never Was
Since the construction of the fort stopped, Fort Hamilton never really served its purpose. Following the restoration, it is now transformed as a garden park.
The fort is surrounded by a deep moat as its first line of defense. To be able to enter the park, you will walk through a wide wooden bridge.
The upper level of the fort was landscaped. Toilets and guard houses are also constructed. The ground is mostly carpeted by grass. There are also trees scattered in the area. A few tables and benches can also be seen.
The fort is designed to have six canons. However, only three was installed, and they still exist today. Since the fort was not used militarily, the canons were never fired. Aside from the moat, the fort also has underground ammunition room.
Unfortunately, all three underground access was locked when I went there. The first access is just on the left as you enter the fort. This will lead you to the moat garden and underground ammunition room. The second access is located just after the toilet in the middle of the garden. This will lead you to the underground galleries, and moat garden as well. The third access will lead you to the underground galleries.
The dry moat is now covered with trees and various plants providing shelters to birds, lizards, insects, etc. Walking in the moat garden around the fort could have been fun. There are no snakes in the wild here in Bermuda, so you will not worry meeting one as you move around.
Sadly, I was not able to go down the moat as well as inside the underground rooms and galleries. Walking alone inside the tunnels leading to them could have been epic. I’ll try to find information on when these gates are open and will update this blog with the experience.
How To Get There?
Fort Hamilton is just a few minutes walk from the Hamilton Bus Terminal. From the terminal, walk along Church Street. Follow the flow of the traffic towards the intersection with King Street. Take a left turn and walk up until the crosswalk just after the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Take Happy Valley Road on the right and continue walking up the hill. Fort Hamilton will be on the right.
Coming from Dockyard (Bus #7 & 8), you can tell the driver to drop you off near The Customs House in Front Street. From the bus stop, go to the other side and walk your way up to King Street. Walk pass the Hamilton Fire Station and Seventh Day Adventist Church. Follow the directions as above going to Happy Valley Road.
Entrance to FORT HAMILTON is FREE.