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Fort Charles

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Fortcharles
Fortcharlessig
General information
Location

Port Royal, Jamaica

Points of interest

Fort Charles prison

Notable inhabitants

James Norrington

Societal
Population

A British Royal Navy garrison[1]

Affiliation

England
British Royal Navy
East India Trading Company

Behind the scenes
First appearance

The Curse of the Black Pearl

Latest appearance

Dead Man's Chest

"Apparently there's some sort of high-toned and fancy to-do up at the fort, eh?"
Jack Sparrow to Murtogg and Mullroy[src]

Fort Charles was a stronghold located at the bustling harbor town of Port Royal. Located on a bluff overlooking the harbor, Fort Charles was one of England's biggest government fort in the Caribbean. The fort served as the base of operations for British Royal Navy forces commanded by Commodore James Norrington.

Towering over the town, Fort Charles was supposed to protect the ships of the Royal Navy moored in the harbor below. The fortress also included the Commodore's office, a dank prison cellblock and, in the center courtyard of the fort, a gallows to remind the townspeople just where they were. The cannons that point out from the battlements were a menacing warning to pirates cruising offshore. However, the fort's garrison was helpless after the town was attacked by the crew of the Black Pearl. Fort Charles was England's biggest government fort in the Caribbean, until a battering from the cannons of the Black Pearl left the fort quite a lot smaller, boosting the pirates' power.

History

Jack Sparrow Hanging COTBP

Jack Sparrow being set to hang.

The fort which later became known as Fort Charles was built immediately after the British conquest of Jamaica. Originally known as Fort Cromwell, the fort was renamed Fort Charles after the restoration of monarchy in England in 1660. Fort Charles was the only military fortification in Port Royal which survived the devastating earthquake in 1692.

In the late 1740s, Fort Charles hosted James Norrington's promotion ceremony, and was also used as the venue for public executions of criminals and pirates. Captain Jack Sparrow was set to be hanged at the gallows in the main courtyard, but was ultimately rescued by William Turner and escaped Port Royal aboard the Black Pearl. It was damaged during the earlier attack on Port Royal by the Pearl, at the time under the command of Captain Hector Barbossa.[2]

Jack Will Fort Charles COTBP

Jack Sparrow and William Turner fighting off Royal Navy soldiers.

During the rule of Lord Cutler Beckett in Port Royal, Fort Charles hosted countless executions of those convicted of committing or associating with persons guilty of piracy.[3] The Pirate Lord, Capitaine Chevalle was held in the stocks here, prior to his execution, but was rescued by Jack Sparrow, who was visiting Tia Dalma.[4]

The song Hoist the Colours, called forth by Hector Barbossa to unite the Brethren Court at Shipwreck Cove, was sung by those facing the gallows at Fort Charles.[3]

Layout

Fort Charles Hanging2 AWE

People having anything to do with piracy being hung.

Towering over the docks, Fort Charles guarded Port Royal from pirate attacks; at least that was the idea. In fact, the fort had too few cannons, and its soldiers were better at drills and parades than warfare. The garrison finds it hard to defend itself, as well as it being impossible to protect the people of Port Royal. Pirates ruled the Caribbean, and their ships were heavily armed. As cannonballs battered the stone walls of the fort, the ramparts are no place for someone like dithering Governor Weatherby Swann, who quaked with fear at every blast.[5]

With grand parapets atop her imposing stone walls and a beautiful arched bell tower designed with a distinct Spanish flair to showcase each and every radiant sunset, Fort Charles was an 18th century military base. The fortress also included the Commodore's office, a dank prison cellblock and, in the center courtyard of the fort, a gallows to remind the townspeople just where they were.

The fort was dominated by a main courtyard used as a public execution area and a military command center. Closer to the port were the prisons, from which prisoners could see both the fort's battlements and the harbor. The battlement's stone parapets were lined with cannons.[2] Near the gallows was a graveyard used to bury those who were executed. During its early days of use the fort had a flag of Great Britain displayed, in its later days a flag of the East India Company was placed alongside the British flag. [6]

Notable inhabitants

Fort Charles Hanging1 AWE

People having anything to do with piracy awaiting their execution.

Behind the scenes

  • For Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, scenes in Fort Charles was built on a three-acre bluff on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, south of Los Angeles, on the site of Marineland, a one-time amusement park (near the Point Vicente Lighthouse seen in Pearl Harbor).[7]
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean Online, the fort's layout is bit different from the movies. It is surrounded by an outer wall, the wall has a gate which leads to a path uphill where the entrance is located. A big staircase leads into the interior of the fort. A crew member of Jack Sparrow's crew, Gordon Greer, can be found imprisoned here.

Appearances

The Pirates of the Caribbean wiki has a collection of images and media related to Fort Charles.

Sources

Notes and references

Locations in Pirates of the Caribbean
Africa
Barbary CoastCalabarKermaSlave CoastTripoli

The Americas
FloridaMexicoNew OrleansNorth Carolina
PanamaPeruSavannahVirginia


Asia
BombayChinaHong KongIndiaNipponShanghaiSingapore


The Bahamas
AndrosNassauNew AvalonNew Providence


The Caribbean
AntiguaCubaHispaniolaIle d'Etable de PorcIsla De La AvariciaIsla CrucesIsla de Muerta
Isla de PelegostosMartiniquePadres Del FuegoPort RoyalShipwreck IslandTortugaUnnamed Island


Europe
CádizFranceGibraltarGreat BritainHolland
LondonMarseillesPortugalSpain


Other locations
Davy Jones' LockerFarthest GateIce PassageIsla Sirena

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