Fort Victoria

Bermuda
Posted on February 14, 2023 / 12
Listing Type : Land Fort
Location : Bermuda

Fort Victoria was the principal fortification on Retreat Hill.  Fort Albert (Eastern Redoubt) lies about 150 metres to the East and Fort James (Western Redoubt) lies 250 metres to the South of Fort Victoria.

Fort Victoria was built in the 1820s as the Citadel (final place of resort) for St Georges which was then the capital.  In the event of a successful hostile landing this would be the fortification to which troops and civilians retreated.  Approval to build Fort Victoria came in 1826.  It was to take a number of years to built but by 1842 was completed with eighteen 32-pdrs and two 32-pdr carronades.

Fort Victoria was hexagonal in shape, some 50 meters long and 30 meters wide.  The works was protected by a deep dry outer moat, with a ravelin tower on the North and South faces.  Four counterscarp galleries provided protection for the outer moat, linked to the main keep by underground tunnels.  There was a central keep, protected by another dry moat which also had counterscarp galleries to provide protection.

In the 1870s the armament of Fort Victoria was upgraded with eight 64-pdr RML guns of 58 cwt, three 11-inch RMLs, two 8-inch SB mortars, two SB 18-pdr guns in one counterscarp gallery and one 24-pdr SB on the South Ravelin.  The RML guns were distributed thus:

North Ravelin

West Parapet of the terreplein

Parapet of North & South terreplein

One 11-inch RML

Two 11-inch RML

Four 68-pdrs on each face

Although listed as a Land Fort, Fort Victoria did play a dual role.  With the introduction of RMLs these could reach the sea and help protect Murrays Anchorage (St George’s Harbour).  It also provided protection of the Coastal Defence Fort, St Catherine’s.

On 14th July 1897 plans were drawn up to mount two 9.2-inch gun on the North face of Fort Victoria, replacing the North Ravelin. In  January 1898 additional plans were drawn up to mount three 6-inch BL guns in this location. About 1900 the decision was made to mount two 9.2-inch guns here and the new battery was built over the old North Ravelin.  Part of this battery can still be seen with the date of 1903.

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