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Fort Cornwallis is the most important historical site in Penang. At first in 1786, it was built using nibong palm by Captain Francis Light, of Britain's East India Company who acquire Penang from Sultan of Kedah after he landed on Penang in 11 Aug 1786. To build this fort or initially was a stockade, he put silver coins into his cannon and fire them into the swampy forest area. Those who wanted the coins will clear the land to get the coins. In this way, the land was cleared. Nibong palm was used because of its thorny trunk and its ability to last in salty water.
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In 1789, Captain Francis Light decided to rebuild the fort using bricks in its original size and shape and brought in convict labourer. Captain Francis Light named this fort after the name of the Governor General of Bengal, Charles Cornwallis. Captain Francis Light passed away in 1794-Oct-21, if not mistaken and was buried in the Christian Church located along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. So, you can visit this cemetery to confirm.

In the early 20th century around 1920, a moat that was 27 feet (8m) wide and 6 feet (2m) deep was built surrounding this star shaped fort. However, this moat was filled up with soil later to prevent the pread of malaria.

At the north west of this fort is a cannon called Seri Rambai. This cannon has an interesting history. It was given by the Dutch to the Sultan of Johore in 1606. A few years later in 1613, it was taken to Acheh and then in 1795, it was taken to Kuala Selangor where it stayed from about 76 years. In 1871, Seri Rambai was taken to Penang and at the coast off Fort Cornwallis it dropped into the sea. It could not be lifted up until a Viseroy of Selangor tied a thread to it and lifted it up. This cannon is said to have magical power that can make a barren women pregnant after making offerings to it.

At the south-west conner, there is a chapel where its first service was in 1799 for the marriage service of Captain Francis Light's widow, Martina Rozells to John Timmers. Beside this chapel, there are many cells. These cells were built to keep East India Company military artilleries. Now, they are used to display the historical articals and photos of Penang.

Before I end, Penang was named Prince of Wales Island by Captain Francis Light. Now, it is known also as Pearl of the Orient. Hmm, name given by the people of Penang, I think. Lastly, kindly "Keep Penang Clean".

Opening time is hrs and closing time is hrs. Entrance fee is RM (year 2013 price).
Coming events - none
Outside Fort Cornwallis
Photo of Fort Cornwallis
Stage inside Fort Cornwallis
Stage inside Fort Cornwallis
Cannons facing the sea
Cannons facing the sea
Camp site inside Fort Cornwallis
A mock camp site inside Fort Cornwallis
Sri Rambai Cannon
Sri Rambai Cannon
Statue of Captain Francis Light
Me beside statue of Captain Francis Light

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