Fort Augusta, St Catherine

Fort Augusta (Andrew Smith)

An astonishing and largely intact defensive structure, it is easy to miss Fort Augusta as it is set so low to the water – thereby offering the least possible target to attackers – that the smallest trees conceal it.  It is on a spit across the harbour entrance from Port Royal, with the deep-water channel into the harbour passing close to the south.  As the Google Maps aerial view shows, it was capable of training many guns onto any vessel that entered, and also onto any force approaching from the land. 

Enclosing wall, Fort Augusta (Andrew Smith)

Subsidence and erosion by the sea have cracked the walls of the enceinte in several places and some of the brickwork has been robbed away.  However, several buildings survive inside including a magazine that was later converted into a chapel, now forlorn and abandoned with touching memorials still legible. 

Memorial plaque, Fort Augusta (Andrew Smith)

The FGSJ discussed findings with the Port Authority of Jamaica and will be sending thoughts for a possible strategy and uses for the site.  One of these is to develop it as a ‘Technology Park’.

Anne M Powers