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National Park aka Fort Shirley
Cabrits National Park was
established in 1986 to protect an abandoned ruins of an old British
Shirley Fort those spectacular ruins are mostly covered by a lush
Caribbean jungle. It lies on a
peninsula that was formed by two extinct volcanoes in the Northeast side
of the island just North- West of Portsmouth.
Fort began its rebirth in 1986, however most of it didn't see
archeological digs. Few items that were found here were accidental. It
is prohibited to carry away found objects from the fort. However there
is no rangers to prevent it from happening or even check if anyone
sneaked a metal detector on the grounds of the park. Just saying.
History of Fort Shirley (Cabrits National
In the 18th century British
Empire established Fort Shirley as an observation post. As the time
passed they gradually increasing
its size and defenses. Fort Shirley ruins are spread out all over the park with
cannons overlooking both Prince Rupert Bay on the South side of the
peninsula as well as Douglass Bay on the North side. Despite its
formidable fortifications citadel was never attacked. The closest it
came to battle is merely observance point of the Battle of the Saintes that was fought in April 9- 12 1782 between
the French and the English fleets in the straight between islands of
Dominica and Guadalupe. The battle resulted in complete British victory.
spread from swamps surrounding Fort Shirley situated in the neck of the peninsula eventually
forced the British to replace European soldiers with those of African
descent. They were better prepared to withstand warm, wet climates and
had little rights comparing to their British counterparts. However even
they reached a breaking point. Fort Shirley briefly experienced a
rebellion in 1802, then soldiers of the 8th West Indian Regiment
rebelled against harsh treatment by the governor. A single cannon shot
from a British ship ended the standoff. The soldiers surrendered, but
further inquiry blamed the governor for using soldiers as slave labor
and initiating a revolt. He kept his freedom, but his career was over.
Shirley Fort itself was completely abandoned in 1854.
"Cabrits" comes from a Spanish words that means "goat". Spanish sailors
who first visited the island had a practice of leaving these animals on
a new shores. Durable and resourceful animals usually survived and
quickly multiplied on an island. Whenever a ship needed fresh meat they
would simply stop and crew would hunt these animals for food.
Inexpensive and easy way to keep your food alive without any work on
Fort Shirley's entrance. The doors are gone, but the
hinges are still in place