CaribbeanSt Lucia

La Toc Battery is the best preserved around Castries, St Lucia

By July 12, 2020 No Comments

I have been telling you about the day I walked around the capital of St Lucia, which is called Castries these last several blogs. As with many Caribbean capitals, Castries is built at the head of a well protected harbor. Would you believe the Castries’ harbour was protected by a system of 60 surrounding forts?

Along the top of Morne Fortune there are six military sites started by the French in 1768, and completed by the British by 1890. They include Fort Charlotte (Old Morne Fortress), the Apostle’s Battery (1888–1890), The Powder Magazine built by the French in the 1750s, Provost’s Redoubt (1792) built as a lookout point, and the Combermere barracks.

With all that said, the best preserved installation is the tiny battery at La Toc Point, which was completed in 1888. In only 17 years it was considered obsolete and was abandoned in 1905. This fort in particular was built by the British to repel any attack from the United States on the then valuable coaling harbour of Castries.

You can get there by car or a 30 minute walk along the southern shore of the harbor and then following the road up the hill. When I visited I had the entire site to myself and I was able to see where the two rifled artillery sat and how they dug out between them to house the powder and command structure. Inside one of the powder rooms I saw the small elevator they built to raise the shells to the gun. Sadly most of the structure was locked and inaccessible without a guide, which I do not know how to find, but it was still super cool to see this small historical fort that was built in a different era than most of the forts in the Caribbean.

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