Fort Charlotte sits at the western tip of the Lucea Harbour in Hanover, across from the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa which lies at the eastern tip. The Fort has been ranked as one of Jamaica’s ‘Best Kept Secrets’ and is rated at number 178 of 304 things to do in Jamaica.
The property was built in 1761 by the British for the defence of the north-westerly section of the island, during the reign of King George III of England. The fort was built with a barrack capable of housing 50 soldiers and had 23 embrasures for 23 guns (cannons), 20 of which were mounted.
A section of the fort, which was part of the barracks for West India Regiment soldiers, has been used to house a section of Rusea’s High School since the early 1900s, after the original school building was destroyed by fire.
Today, very little activity takes place at the historic fort. However, since 2017, it has been the official venue for the Jamaica Natural Hair Health and Beauty Festival. It is also a major sightseeing spot for tour bus drivers who make it a trademark stop on their way to and from Negril.
The fort and was named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III. Queen Charlotte, historians say, was the first Black Queen of England. She was of mixed heritage – part black and part white. A marked giveaway was her kinky hair, as depicted in paintings done by Scotsman, Allan Ramsay, whom it is said, chose not to downplay her African features.
Fort Charlotte is often visited by tourists and Jamaicans, some of whom live close by. See gallery below.