Monuments & Sites




Fort William, Anomabu (1753)

In 1753, the British Parliament voted enormous sums for the construction of a new trading fort in Anomabu, now part of the Central Region of Ghana.  Completed by 1757, it was erected on ‘an eroded shelf of hard rock close to a sandy beach indentation with a sheltered anchorage’

Earlier, in 1674, the English had built a small fort, named Fort Charles, after the reigning monarch King Charles II. The English demolished Fort Charles in 1731, to prevent its capture and use by another European company - notably their archrival in overseas colonisation, the French.  The French, however, rebuilt a fort where Fort Charles once stood. Regretting the loss of their Anomabu fort, the English hastened to then build a new one - Fort William.

The fort was probably christened Fort William by 19th century commander Brodie Cruickshank in honour of King William IV, upon the completion of another one storey apartment.

Constructed almost entirely with local materials, Fort William is considered ‘one of the handsomest and best built of the Coast’ . However, ‘nowhere else does the original structure of a fort include a large prison specifically built to hold slaves awaiting transport overseas’ . Speaking about Anomabu slave exports, an English captain said in 1717, “[From] January 1702 to August 1708 they took to Barbados, Jamaica a total of not less than 30,141 slaves” .

Fort William had a superior stock of cannons; yet it was attacked by the French in 1794 and ‘besieged by the Asantes on 15th June, 1806 a day after which it capitulated ’.

Once a rest house and a post office, then a state prison (till 2001), Fort William now serves Anomabu as a community library.

The fort’s opening hours are 9:00am to 4:30pm.

Contact Details:

Central and Western Regions
Cape Coast Castle
Cape Coast
Tel +233-3321 32529



Anquandah, Kwesi J., Castles and Forts of Ghana, 1999, page 45.

van Dantzig, Albert, Forts and Castles of Ghana, pg 59.

Anquandah, Kwesi J., Castles and Forts of Ghana, 1999, page 45.

Anquandah, Kwesi J., Castles and Forts of Ghana, 1999, page 42.

Ephson, Dr. Isaac S., Ancient Forts and Castles of the Gold Coast (Ghana), Ilen Publications, Accra 1970, page 85.

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