GhanaWeb TV



Overview of Castles and Forts

The Castles and Forts of Ghana.

cape coast castle

The forts and castles along the coast of Ghana date back to the 15th Century and were built and occupied at different times by the European traders and adventurers from Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Britain to safeguard trading posts.

Several of them have changed hands on numerous occasions in bloody battles or by treaty, and all have a fascinating history.

All over Ghana, vestiges of the past remain for the visitor to discover. Relics, historic sites, national monuments, and of course our castles.

Today some have been restored and have a variety of uses while some are in ruins. Most are however open to the public.

Location Fort/Castle Name Purpose
Ankobra-Western Region Fort Elise Cartage Built by the Dutch in 1702, only traces ruins are now visible.
Axim- Western Region Fort S. Antonio Portuguese trading post, 1502. Destroyed by the towns people in 1514. Second fort built by the Portuguese on present site in 1515.
Begin- Western Region Fort Apologia Dutch lodge c. 1660. British fort built between 1750 and 1770. Reconstructed between 1962 and 1968.
Princess town -Western Region Groot-Friedrichburg/Fort Holland. Danish lodge 1658, fort built in 1683.
Takrama-Western Region Fort Sofia Louis Lodge built by Branderburgers in 1690, English fort 1691.
Present day: Only the foundations are visible.
Akwida-Western Region Fort Dorothy Built by Branderburgers, 1685
Present day: In ruins.
Dixcove-Western Region Fort Metal Cross The fort on the bay (Dick's or Dickeys Cove). Work commenced in 1693.
Restored 1954-66.
Butri-Western Region Fort Batensteyn Swedish post 1650-2. Dutch fort built 1656.
Sekondi-Western Region Fort Orange Built by the Dutch probably in 1640.
Shama-Western Region Fort St. Sebastian Built as a Dutch lodge in 1526. Portuguese fort built in 1590.
Restored 1954-7.
Komenda-Western Region Fort Vrendenburg English trading post 1663.
Elmina-Central Region Fort St. Jorge Portuguese reached Elmina (Del Mina) in 1471. Built by Portuguese in 1482. First European fort on the Gold Coast, improved before 1500.
Elmina-Central Region Fort St. Jago(Conraadsburg) Chapel built between 1555 and 1558 by the Portuguese. Turned into a lodge and watch tower.
Restored 1956-60.
Elmina-Central Region Watchtower Presumably Dutch but of unknown date, restored 1956-60.
Cape Coast-Central Region Cape Coast Castle Built as a lodge by the Dutch 1630 on an abandoned lodge built earlier by the Portuguese. Extensively rebuilt before 1757-80. Present day: Cape Coast Castle Museum
Cape Coast Out Forts Fort Victoria Built by the English in 1702
Cape Coast Out Forts Fort William Built by the British in 1819-20
Cape Coast Out Forts Fort McCarthy Built by the British 1822
Cape Coast Out Forts Fort Nassau At Mourie. Dutch post, 1598. Dutch lodge built
Anomabu- Central Region Fort William Built by the Dutch 1640. Restored 1954.
Kormantse- Central Region Fort Amsterdam Dutch trading post 1598. Dutch lodge built 1631, fort rebuilt by the English in in 1645.
Amoku- Central Region Near Ankaful, Saltpond French post built 1786.
Tantum- Central Region English post intermittently occupied from 1662. English post built c. 1724.
Apam- Central Region Fort Leysaemheyt/Patience Built by the Dutch 1696-1702
Senya Beraku- Central Region Fort Goedehoop(Good Hope) Dutch Fort establised 1667
Accra Fort James It is likele that there was a Portuguese lodge in the middle of the 16th century(probably by 1576).
Accra Fort Crevecoer(Ussher Fort) Dutch post built in 1642.
Accra Christianborg Castle A Portuguese fortified house, 1550. Swedish lodge built in 1652. Rebulit and used as a residence of the British Gorvenor of Gold Coast, 1877-1957. Residence of the Prime Minister of Ghana and renamed Government House , Osu in 1957.
Became the official residence of Dr. Nkrumah (President) 1960 and has since remained the seat of the Government. Frequently rebuilt with additions in recent years. Not open to the public.
Teshie Fort Augustaborg Dutch post in 1730-40's.
Prampram Fort Vernon British post built in 1740.
Ada Fort Kongenstein Portuguese trading place ,16th century.
Keta Fort Prinsenstein Danish post established c. 1714