St. Ann's Fort
St. Ann's Fort
The St Ann's Fort which is located in the area of the famous Garrison Savannah in the parish of St. Michael, Barbados is part of a rich military history, highly concentrated in the Garrison area. Providing background to this, the Barbados Garrison is purported to be the largest in all of the British colonies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was at its zenith and fully set up for the benefit, safety and security of the British Royal Armed Forces, who were based on the island right through to 1906.
The relevance of St Ann's Fort is that it all started with the construction of this fort which was built in 1705 and named after Her Majesty, Queen Ann. In years gone by, this location played a pivotal role as the central command point for the island's six signal stations which were a major communication at the time. Through the use of flags and other coding systems, these stations were able to raise the alarm or simply get information quickly to other parts of the island. The flag poles and other items reminiscent of that time are still visible on the premises.
In 2004, a National Armoury display, with a large and distinguished collection from times past, was opened at St Ann's. They have been structured alongside the walls of the Fort in unique fashion, and include an Elizabethan cannon from the early seventeenth century. The island of Barbados is graced with its continued presence here as it is the only one known to be in existence.
With the physical structure largely maintained today, it is worthy to note that the military connection has continued through to the twenty-first century as today, it is the official base and headquarters of the Barbados Defence Force.
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