Face lift set for Fort George

One of the least recognised yet most important landmarks in George Town will come into its own thanks to a charitable donation to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. 

Fort George will be benefit from a $50,000 donation by the Walkers Charitable Foundation to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. The site was donated to the trust in 1987, the year the Trust was established. 

“Fort George is one of only three built heritage sites remaining in central George Town dating back to the 1700s,” said Denise Bodden, historic programmes manager for the Trust.  

The fort was constructed to defend George Town against the threat of attack by Spanish marauders and the site still served as a lookout post as recently as the World War II. However, the site fell into disrepair and in 1972 it was partially demolished, saved from total demolition only by the actions of a group of concerned citizens. It was officially dedicated as an historic site in 1992.  

Landscaping work and general repairs and restoration of the site will be spearheaded by the trust with the assistance of architect John Doak and engineer Ali Sabti of APEC Engineering. Plans also include a large mural by local artist John Broad depicting an attack by Spanish marauders in the late 1700s, and an explosion at sea during World War II. 

“Fort George’s revitalisation is a truly fitting event to be taking place on our 25th anniversary, given that we acquired the site the year the trust was formed,” said Carla Reid, chairman of the trust. “We are extremely grateful for this very generous donation from the Walkers Charitable Foundation which will help preserve this unique site that has played an important role in Cayman’s history.” 

According to Diarmad Murray, global managing partner at Walkers, the donation is a continuation of the company’s support for the trust. 

“Walkers has been a staunch supporter of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands for many years. We have always taken the view that preserving our environment and heritage is key for both future generations and Cayman’s continued success as a first rate tourist destination. We want to ensure that Fort George remains a significant part of the landscape for years to come,” he said. 

face lift for Ft George

From left are Denise Bodden, historic programmes manager for the National Trust; Diarmad Murray, global managing partner at Walkers; Antonia Hardy, partner at Walkers; Ali Sabti, engineer on the Fort George project; and Christina McTaggart, general manager of the National Trust. – Photo: Submitted