Fort Charles, Port Royal – Nelson’s Quarterdeck

Peregrine Bryant, FGSJ Chairman, inspects Nelson’s Quarterdeck, Fort Charles (Andrew Smith)

Nelson’s Quarterdeck is the ‘tourist’ name given to a gun deck beneath a small-arms firing platform that faces south from Fort Charles, originally over the sea at the foot of the walls. The enlargement of the Port Royal spit to the south has today left it several hundred metres inland.

The Port Authority of Jamaica is creating a new floating pier and port facility to take cruise ships.  Consequently, parts of Port Royal such as Fort Charles are being renovated as a visitor attraction and these works are to be welcomed.

The managers of the fort wish to set up retail outlets on the gun deck and shelter them with some kind of awning.  However the underside of the platform’s structure is only around 2 metres above the paving which highly restricts what can be achieved.

The FGSJ carried out a basic survey and have sent some ideas to the Port Authority based on sail-like awnings that leave the primary structure visible. 

Anne M Powers