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
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. 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.
Diseases that 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.
The name "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