Amongst the key historical attractions in George Town, Penang, Fort Cornwallis offers a captivating journey of discovery and here’s more on what you need to know.
Planning Your Visit
This well-known fort can be found near the Esplanade and Swettenham Pier and can be easily visited by those staying in Bukit Mertajam; apartments here at properties like Sky Residence Prai make an ideal base for excursions to this attraction. Interestingly, there are tour guides given by those dressed in red coats typically worn by the British army during colonial times.
A Bit of History
The location of Fort Cornwallis marks the area where the British explorer and founder of Penang, Captain Francis Light, first landed on 17 July 1786. Initially, he cleared a jungle area and constructed a stockade using native nibong palms to help protect the island from pirate attacks as well as invading foreign forces. Over the years it was rebuilt and expanded before being completed in 1810; named after the Governor General of Bengal, Charles Marquis Cornwallis, today, it’s the largest and oldest fort in the nation.
What to Expect
The design and layout of Fort Cornwallis is a classic example of a star fort and on your visit, you will be able to see a bronze statue of its founder, Captain Francis Light. As you explore this site, you will come across military barracks, quarters used by officers, storerooms for ammunition, prison cells and ancient cannons like the Seri Rambai cannon.
Other attractions you will find here include the Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse which towers to a height of 21 metres; dating to 1882 and constructed by the British, it’s the second oldest lighthouse in the country. You will also come across a chapel and an old shipyard, while you additionally have the chance to wear outfits like those worn in colonial times ideal for some unique selfies in the fort!