|Points of interest|
|Behind the scenes|
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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. 
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).
- 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.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (video game)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- The Capture of Jack Sparrow!
- The Buccaneer's Heart! (Non-canonical appearance)
- The Escape of Pintel and Ragetti!
- The Sleeping Island! (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Kingdom Hearts II (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
Notes and references
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.16-17 "Port Royal"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (video game): "Port Royal"
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.18-19 "Governor Swann"
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (video game)
- ↑ Pirates of the Carribean presskit, accessed Dec 9, 2006