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Fort St Catherine offers Saturday opening

Fort St Catherine (File photograph)

Today marks a special occasion for one of the East End’s greatest landmarks, Fort St Catherine.

Usually open on weekdays only, the fort is taking visitors from 10am.

The iconic fortification in St George’s, which was first established in the early years of Bermuda’s settlement, is having a Saturday opening after numerous expressions of interest.

Francine Trott, the heritage officer for the Department of Parks, said the exception had been made for today to allow so that children who would ordinarily be in school, as well as adults with work commitments, to explore the island’s history.

“We are happy to offer this chance to learn about fortification and how Fort St Catherine played a role in the island’s defence,” she said.

“It’s an interesting activity for any family or for history lovers, and a chance for locals to know your history.”

There will be two tour guides for parties of more than five, or visitors can take a self-guided tour.

The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors aged 65 and over and $3 for children. The edifice will be open until 5pm. The first stone fort on the site was built in 1614, only a few years after the island was claimed by the Crown, and has been rebuilt several times over the past 400 years. It is part of the Unesco World Heritage site of St George’s. Fort St Catherine’s present-day form was constructed during the 19th century, and stayed in use until 1900. It was turned into a tourist attraction in the 1950s and once featured a production of Macbeth, starring Charlton Heston. The building offers a classic showcase of British forts, complete with guns.