Fort Cornwallis, named after the Governor-General in Bengal in the late 1700s, Charles Cornwallis, is one of the most interesting historical landmarks in Georgetown. It is located close to the Esplanade, next to the Victoria Memorial Clock.
The fort’s walls, roughly 10 feet high, are laid out in a star-shape formation. A stroll along the perimeters takes roughly 10 minutes. Inside the fort, you can still see some of the original structures built over a century ago, including a chapel, prison cells, ammunitions storage area, a harbour light once used to signal incoming ships, the original flagstaff and several old bronze cannons, one of which is a Dutch cannon called the Seri Rambai, dated 1603. An interesting note about the Seri Rambai is that some locals believe that this particular cannon can have a positive effect on a woman’s fertility.
Today, this privately managed historical site is popular among visitors. It is equipped with a tourist information kiosk, a cafe, an open-air amphitheatre, a history gallery, a souvenir centre as well as guides who can take you around the fort grounds and provide you with a glimpse into the fort’s history.
Fort Cornwallis offers the service of friendly and knowledgeable tour guides, dressed up in smart, red colonial soldier outfits, who can give you a quick and insightful tour of the fort grounds for a small fee. Without the aid of a guidebook or background knowledge of Fort Cornwallis’ history, engaging these guides to take you around will be well worth the money. Opening hours are from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm daily.
How to get there
By Foot or Taxi
Fort Cornwallis is on the edge of Central Georgetown on Jalan T. S. S. Barakbah off Lebuh Light.
Penang has long been a popular stopover on the traveller’s trail and, as such, a wide range of accommodation is available, from basic backpacker’s hostels to 5-star hotels.