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Gravesend, United Kingdom
December 27, 2010
From journal The pearl of the East.
by Eric from Aiea
September 17, 2006
Fort Cornwallis is laid out as a star-shaped fortification with thick brick and stone walls. From 1804 through 1810, the fort was rebuilt with bricks and stones by Indian convict labor during Colonel R.T. Farquhar’s term as governor of Penang and completed during Norman Macalister’s term as Governor of Penang at the cost of $80,000.
Even though the fort was originally built for the Royal artillery troops and the military, its actual function was more an administrative rather than defense role. In its entire history, the fort had never been engaged in any battle. Apart from being used for basing some British Royal artillery troops, the fort was also occupied at one time by the Sikh Police of the Straits Settlements during the 1920s.The remains of the fort are worth seeing for the cheap admission price charged. There is a lot that could be done at the fort to make it a much more interesting historical site, but it seems the interactive historical approach has not yet made its way to Penang. Several of the old rooms in the walls house artifacts dug up from recent digs at the fort. But some parts of the fort are in disrepair, with horses grazing on the back walls. Fort Cornwallis could be a great attraction if it became a showcase area, and the government or nonprofit organizations improved what is available there already to become a really good living museum.
From journal 60 hours in Penang
May 29, 2005
The pristine white harbour light house and flagstaff situated atop the fort at the far left corner from the entrance is presently still in operation and out of bounds to visitors. The lighthouse served dual purposes. It acted as a beacon for incoming ships but also warned British residents living in Penang hill of danger.
Along the perimeter of the fort walls facing the sea are the famed cannons. All were installed by the British with the exception of one, the Seri Rambai cannon that was presented by the Dutch to the Sultan of Johore but later seized by the British. This cannon is now placed at the north-west bastion of the fort and local folklore has it that any barren woman wishing for a child, places flowers at this cannon will have her wish granted.
We spent a pleasant hour exploring the fort and admiring the views of the old Georgetown from the fort walls. Across the fort is the esplanade where locals gather during festivities, e.g., during the 15th day of the Lunar Chinese new year, single women would gather nearby to throw mandarin oranges into the sea in hopes that some lucky gentlemen might pick it up, a traditional custom for men and women to meet.
Operating hours: 8:30am to 6:30pm
Admission: Adult- RM$3, Child- RM$2
For more information, go HERE
From journal Penang Revisited
Subang Jaya, Malaysia
April 19, 2001
From journal Penang : The Pearl of the Orient