Morne Fortune – St Lucia

8 Jul

Morne Fortuné is the summit of a ridge, which rises to a height of 852 ft from the point La Toc – the southern arm of the Castries Harbour. Morne Fortuné means “Hill of Good luck” which is far from the truth, since this area was on many occasions the bloody battleground between the French and the English. It was later renamed Fort Charlotte 1794 by the father of Queen Victoria of Great Britain after a battle victory.

In 1768, the French decided to move their chief town from it’s exposed site at Vigie to its present location. Morne Fortune was there after fortified to protect the harbour. During the period of 1768 to the later part of the 19th century, most of the earlier buildings have disappeared. Only four buildings of French origin remain on the Morne (the Powder Magazine and three of the Guard Cells). Many of the buildings built by the British during their occupation have disappeared or fallen into ruin (for example, the Pavilion, residence of the Governor was destroyed in a hurricane of 1817). The remaining buildings on the Morne were built during the latter part of the 19th century.

Fort Charlotte Jail in Morne Fortune

In the latter part of the 19th century, Morne Fortuné served as a garrison to defend the Castries Harbour, which was then a coaling station. Coal was brought to the Harbour from abroad, and dumped onto the wharf, while coal-burning ships called at the port to refuel. In 1906 the British garrison left Morne Fortuné.

For more information about this historical site, visit St Lucia National Trust.

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