Honestly, I never heard of other old fort in Malaysia other than A'Famosa in Malacca, until few days before my trip to Penang, when I did some reading on the tourist spots on the island, I found out this fort in Penang called Fort Cornwallis. It became our 4th destination during the visiting to Penang recently.
Fort Cornwallis was built on the site where Sir Francis Light made his historical landing in Penang in 1786. This star-shape fortress is the largest standing fort in Malaysia and is named after the Governor-General of Bengal, India, Charles Cornwallis. Originally it's just a simple stockade made out of nibong (palm trunk) until it was reconstructed using bricks at a cost of 67,000 Spanish Dollars in 1793.
Upon entering the fort compound through its main entrance, each adult will be charged RM 2.00 and RM 1.00 for a kid. There are not much to see inside the fortress, basically just the old walls, old cannons and old structure. Well, I guess that's what a historical fort is all about, isn't it? However, there are some important artifacts in Fort Cornwallis that you may pay attention to.
First, is Francis Light's bronze statue which you will never miss when you enter the fort compound as it's placed near the entrance overlooking the fort. As at the time we reached the place was near to noon time, the weather was burning hot and the sunlight was so strong, that's why I couldn't snap a clearer picture of this statue.
Secondly, the gunpowder magazine structure at the North-West bastion of the fort. This structure was constructed in 1814 as a place to store explosive inside the fortress. Its pillbox shape design with thick wall was meant to minimize damages in the event of explosion.
Thirdly, the legendary Sri Rambai Cannon. I just knew that this cannon has a very interesting and legendary story behind it and if you wish to know more, please google yourself. ;p Anyway, this cannon was found in the Straits of Malacca in 1880 and placed at North-West bastion of Fort Cornwallis facing the ocean.
The cannon has Dutch East India Company symbol on it.
There were many other cannons beside the legendary Seri Rambai which you may like to take some attention to.
Fourthly, the Chapel. It's located at the south-west corner of the fort. It was built by Francis Light for worship purpose and is the earliest Anglican church built. The first recorded service taking place in this Chapel was the marriage of Sir Francis Light's widow or the mother of the sons of Francis Light, Martina Rozells with John Timmers.
Last but not least, the cell. The narrow space was first used as the barracks to house European artillery, then been converted into the cell room for prisoners.
"The fort was used as military and administrative base of the British East India Company to protect the island from possible onslaught launched by the Frenchmen. However, there was no battle has ever taking place at the fort, not even during Japanese invasion in 1940s." What an interesting fact about this fort.
As the weather getting hotter, we spent about half an hour to 45 mins before leaving the place and heading to the next destination, which was Pinang Peranakan Mansion. See you there... ;)