Bayroad, Basseterre, StKitts

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Brimstone Hill in StKitts


Brimstone Hill is an 18 century fortress built by the british to protect the then developing sugar industry on the island of St Kitts.

The Fort was built with slave labour during 1700 – 1782. It was built 800 feet above sea level over and area of 38 acres.
Brimstone Hill derived its name from the seven-foot thick, black volcanic stone used in its construction.
Its design allowed the soldiers a panoramic for miles. Nearby islands Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Martin, and St. Bart
can clearly be seen from the fort.

In February of 1782, a French fleet of nearly 50 ships was dispatched to St Kitts by the French to force the British from the rich sugar colonies of St. Kitts & Nevis.

Admiral Count Francois de Grasse, whose flagship was the huge 130-gun Vill de Paris, was ordered to dislodge
the British from Brimstone Hill, aka the “Gibraltar of the West Indies”.

De Grasse and 8,000 French siege forces mounted ferocious attacks on the fortress. After a month of continuous bombardment, and despite staunch resistance by Brimstone’s 1,000 British troops, the French succeeded finally in punching 40-foot holes in the thick walls.

The British finally surrendered when their situation became hopeless.
The French siege commander, the Marquis de Bouille, paid tribute to their heroic defense by allowing the British garrison to leave Brimstone Hill as an undefeated force, in full uniform and with standards held aloft.

One year later, the treaty of Versailles returned St. Kitts to British rule.
The british reciprocated and the same honour was accorded to the French garrison.

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