Visiting Fort Charlotte
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A five-sided artillery fort with bastions projecting from each corner. The walls are high and massive. It was built in 1665 to protect the Sound of Bressay from the Dutch, but taken by them and burned in 1673. It was rebuilt in 1781. Defender of the Realm Bressay Sound, off Lerwick, was a sheltered anchorage during the 1600s. It was increasingly valued not just by Dutch fishermen but also by Dutch warships, convoying their prized Dutch East Indiamen back to port. When Britain went to war with Holland in 1652, a fort of sorts was erected at Lerwick, overlooking the sound. It was replaced by a bigger fort during the Second Dutch War in the 1660s, but this was never finished. It was eventually completed a century later, when the Royal Navy found itself facing the combined forces of Holland, France, Spain and the embryonic American navy during the War of American Independence. It was named Fort Charlotte, after George IIIâ€™s queen.
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Telephone: 01856 841815
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