Fort Bennett – English Mercenary

Fort Bennett

Fort Bennett

“Lieutenant Robert Bennet was an English mercenary who commanded a small party of settlers which left the duchy of Courland aboard “der Schwann” in July 1680.

They built a small fort nearby but in less than a year they were driven out by Indians and left for Barbados.

A battery of 2-18 pounders managed by the island’s militia was established here by the British in 1778 to defend the bay where sugar was loaded against the French who invaded the island in 1781, an oven for heading shot can still be seen.” – Taken from the plague at the fort

Fort Bennett
Fort Bennett

History of the fort

Fort Bennett is located in Black Rock, Tobago, overlooking Grafton Beach.

The Fort was built by the Dutch between 1628 and 1636.

Later on, in the 1680’s the Courlanders refortified it in order to protect their then flourishing settlement in the Great Courland Bay area.

The fort then fell into the hands of the British in the 1800’s and was again refortified to protect their claim to Tobago.

The fort was mainly for military purposes when it protected sugar loading operations in the adjacent bay from American Privateers harassing the British during the American Revolution. Archaeologists suggest that the remnant walls can be found under the undulating surface of the fort, an indication of the constant reconstruction that took place in the wake of the numerous battles fought there.

The signature cannons are still positioned safely in a recess near the entrance to the grounds, illustrating how the British battery may have originally looked.

The turbulent history of the fort stands in stark contrast to the modern-day serenity of this spot.

A small gazebo sits on the end of the short winding and sloping path, offers shelter from the elements and a panoramic view of the bay.

Info found here.

Fort Bennett
Fort Bennett

The Beach

The fort overlooks a wonderful beach, the water is calm as it is sheltered by the rocks.

There is also a gazebo in the beach from when you can chill out.

Directly under the fort you will there is a channel through the rocks, where the water is amazing.

At low tide you can walk in or jump of the rocks and enjoy a nice swim in the channel.

The sunset at Fort Bennett is absolutely amazing, it is very scenic, seeing the light kiss the horizon.

At the end of the fort you can walk through the gate and take the path to the rocks.

At this position you will have an uninterpreted view of the bays, which is superb.

Fort Bennett
Fort Bennett

Google map showing trail and location.

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