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Fort James

Admire the view of the Caribbean Sea and St. John’s and examine the powder magazine and gun emplacements of this beachside fort.

Fort James comprises the remains of an 18th-century military structure that overlooks Fort Bay Beach. An array of intriguing artifacts remain from its time as an active colonial base built to defend the island against a French invasion. Piece together parts of Antigua’s rich history from the remnants of this fascinating fort.

Inspect the preserved cannons and imagine them being fired over the endless blue ocean. Snap photos of the excellent views of the verdant coast and the town of St. John’s. Walk beside the remaining foundation of the wall of the fort and see the powder magazine for a rough idea of the structure’s appearance centuries ago. It was initially constructed in 1706, before more buildings were added in 1739.

Note that the fort takes its name from King James II of England. The barracks lodged 75 men and contained 36 gun emplacements. Soldiers here fired daily gun salutes to friendly ships as signals at sunrise and sunset during the 1800s.

Dine at one of the small restaurants where the fort area meets the southern end of Fort Bay Beach. Try the seafood and chat with friendly staff. Younger members of the restaurant’s family often sell bracelets and souvenirs.

Make use of the restrooms and shower facilities on the stretch of sand. Although the beach is generally tranquil and has few structures, you can walk to another restaurant farther north along the beach. The beach and fort are free to visit and open to the public at all times.

Find Fort James at the southern cape of Fort Bay Beach on a promontory that juts out from the southwestern outskirts of St. John’s. Take a taxi from the cruise terminal and arrange your return pick-up time with the driver. Visit nearby sights, such as the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, Runaway Beach and Blackburn Park.


Guide to Exploring Fort James


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