Bermuda Landmarks

Bermuda's landmarks include military forts, churches, museums, and more

Photo credit: © briannacroucher
 

Whether it be the forts, historic homes, or churches, British influence is prevalent on Bermuda. As visitors explore the island, they will view interesting feats of architecture, stand in sites of historic significance, and if they are lucky, learn a little something in the process

Museums

Bermuda Maritime Museum

If you enjoy learning about other cultures and places, you should consider visiting a museum while on vacation on Bermuda. To get complete information about each museum, click on the name.

Tucker House Museum: Learn about how prominent Bermudians lived their lives on the island during the turn of the 19th century when you visit the Tucker House Museum. The house was built in the 1750s, but it wasn't until 1175 that the Henry Tucker (President of the Governor's Council) and his family took up residence.

Another landmark that often intrigues visitors is Bermuda Maritime Museum. It is found within Royal Naval Dockyard and situated on Ireland Island North, Bermuda. This extensive museum features plenty of interesting exhibits including the history of the slave trade and one on the tourism industry.

Bermuda National Gallery: Watlington Collection The Watlington Collection is the core permanent exhibit, and features some of the European masters from between 1500 and 1850. These include Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Murillo.

The table below provides some details regarding some museums to choose from on Bermuda.

Museums On Bermuda
Name Phone Location
Bermuda Heritage Museum (441) 297-4126 0.1 mi. East of Central St. George
Bermuda Historical Society Museum (441) 295-2487 Downtown Hamilton
Bermuda Maritime Museum (441) 234-1333 3.3 mi. Northwest of Central Hamilton
Bermuda National Gallery (441) 295-9428 Downtown Hamilton
Bermuda National Trust Museum (441) 297-1423 0.0 mi. South of Central St. George
Carter House (441) 293-1642 1.0 mi. South of Central St. George
Deliverance (441) 297-1459 St. George, Northeastern part of Bermuda
Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art (441) 299-4000 1.2 mi. East of Downtown Hamilton
St. George's Historical Society Museum (441) 297-0423 2.5 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Tucker House Museum (441) 297-0545 2.3 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Verdmont (441) 236-7369 Smith's Parish, Central Bermuda
World Heritage Centre (441) 297-5791 2.2 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour

Historical Sites

Waterville House

In case you like to learn about the historical roots of a foreign country, you should consider visiting a few of these historical attractions during your vacation.

One popular destination is Waterville House. It is situated in Paget Parish, in central Bermuda. A tour of the Waterville House is great for tourists interested in life on Bermuda for early settlers. The two main rooms of the house are furnished with relics donated to the museum by the Tringham family, and what is not original has been replicated to make the home appear as it was during the 19th century.

If you are looking to do more sight-seeing, visit Old State House. It is St. George, in northeastern Bermuda. Those wanting to tour the old building will need to show up on Wednesday between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Otherwise you will need to make an appointment, as the building is now a fully operational Masonic Lodge, and they hold private functions throughout the week.

Portuguese Rock: Located on the grounds of the Spittal Pond Nature Reserve, Portuguese Park is a historic monument which marks the spot that is believed to be the earliest human remnants on the island. The letters R and P, plus the date of 1543 were engraved on the rock, marking what Portuguese historians have declared was these people's attempt at laying claim to the island, and not the sight of a Spanish shipwreck as first believed.

Take some time to look through the following chart to learn more about historic sites on the island.

Historic Sites On Bermuda
Name Phone Location
Castle Island -- 2.8 mi. South of Central St. George
Commissioner's House -- 3.3 mi. Northwest of Central Hamilton
Ferry Island Fort -- 0.8 mi. Northwest of Central Castle Harbour
Fort Cunningham -- 1.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central St. George
Fort Hamilton (441) 292-1234 0.4 mi. East of Downtown Hamilton
Fort Popple -- 1.5 mi. North of Central Cooper's Island
Fort Prospect -- 1.2 mi. East-Northeast of Downtown Hamilton
Fort Scaur (441) 236-5902 4.9 mi. West of Central Hamilton
Fort St. Catherine (441) 297-1920 3.1 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Gates Fort -- 2.0 mi. North of Central Cooper's Island
Martello Tower -- 0.9 mi. Northwest of Central Castle Harbour
Old Devonshire Church (441) 236-3671 1.8 mi. East-Northeast of Downtown Hamilton
Old Rectory (441) 297-4261 2.5 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Old State House (800) 223-6106 2.5 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Portuguese Rock -- 3.8 mi. East of Central Hamilton
Sessions House (441) 292-7408 Downtown Hamilton
St. George Historical District -- 0.0 mi. Southeast of Central St. George
St. Peter's Church (441) 297-8359 2.4 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Stocks & Pillory And Ducking Stool -- 2.5 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Unfinished Church -- 2.6 mi. Northeast of Central Castle Harbour
Waterville House (441) 236-6483 0.8 mi. East of Downtown Hamilton
Whale Bay Fort -- 5.7 mi. South West of Central Hamilton

Miscellaneous Landmarks

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

Guests may explore some other interesting attractions on Bermuda.

If the more functional aspects of living by the sea intrigue you, you might enjoy seeing Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. As the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is an attraction worthy of your time. Whether you climb to the top to catch a view of the seaside or you stop in to the gift shop for a little history on the lighthouse, you are sure to learn a lot about the important role the lighthouse has played in the sailing history of Bermuda.

Another landmark that often intrigues visitors is The Perfumery. It is St. George, in northeastern Bermuda. Since 1928, the Perfumery has been manufacturing an impressive line of perfumes called Lili Bermuda. Today, visitors are welcome to tour the perfumery and see how the fragrances are brought to life.

St. Davids Lighthouse: Still standing tall and lighting the way for sailors who navigate the intrepid waters off the coast of Bermuda, St. Davids Lighthouse has been around for well over 100 years. The beam stretches out over 20 miles into the ocean at night, but during the day serves as a popular attraction for guests who yearn to see as much of Bermuda's country and seaside as possible in one swoop.

The table below lists a few details concerning other kinds of attractions of interest to vacationers.

Miscellaneous Landmarks On Bermuda
Name Type Location
Dockyard Playground Children's Attraction 3.4 mi. Northwest of Central Hamilton
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Lighthouse 4.1 mi. South West of Central Hamilton
St. Davids Lighthouse Lighthouse 1.0 mi. North of Central Cooper's Island
The Perfumery Facility Viewing 0.0 mi. West-Southwest of Central St. George

Keep in mind, Bermuda has other attractions. Click here to see our article concerning other interesting attractions for Bermuda.

Churches

In St. George's Parish, visitors will find the oldest Anglican church site in the Western Hemisphere: St. Peter's Church. The original church, which was built in 1612, was destroyed in a hurricane, then rebuilt in 1713. The on-site graveyard is the final resting place of almost all of Bermuda's original settlers, and nearby is a slave graveyard. Just behind the church is the Old Rectory, which was built in 1705 by a reformed pirate.

Historic Churches on Bermuda
ChurchLocationInteresting FactContact
Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity Hamilton The 157-step tower gives visitors a panoramic view of the city. 441-292-4033
Old Devonshire Church Devonshire Parish Silver dating back to the 16th century is housed here. 441-236-3671
St. Johns Church Sandys Parish The alter faces west, instead of east (which is customary). 441-234-0834
St. Paul's Church Hamilton Locals believe a ghost haunts the building. 441-292-0505
Cathedral Of St Theresa Hamilton Hosts Santo Cristo Parade. 441-292-0607
Unfinished Church St. George Was built to replace St. Peter's, but never finished. N/A

Forts

In order to protect the Royal Naval Dockyard, the British built a series of fortifications to surround the area. Today, this area is known Scaur Hill Park.

Fort St. Catherine was the first major fort to be constructed on Bermuda, originally finished in 1614. Over the years it has undergone numerous refurbishments to keep the tunnels and towers in working order. Now the fort houses a museum that features dioramas of Bermuda history, as well as a small-arms exhibit, and a display of English's crown jewels (they are replicas). Visitors can also view an audiovisual presentation of the fort's defense system. Fort St. Catherine is located in St. George's Parish, and open daily from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission costs $5(USD) for adults, and $2(USD) for children under the age of 12.

At the entrance of St. George's is guarded by the small Gates Fort. Gates Fort is a simple structure comprised of only two rooms that stood as a watchtower. Built in 1609, there is not much for visitors to see, but every so often cruise passengers are welcomed to the island with a ringing of the bell and a blast of the cannon that sits atop the tower. Gates Fort is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.

Also in St. George's Parish is Castle Island, which houses remnants of a fort from the 1600s. Though nature has overtaken much of the landmark, it is still a piece of Bermuda's history worth exploring. The fort area is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.., and admission is free.

Many years after settlement, in the 1870s, the British built Fort Hamilton as protection against American threats. The structure never ended up being necessary, but many visitors find it a pleasant place to visit, with it's moat, cannons, and ramparts. The on-site garden is also worth visiting. Fort Hamilton is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free.

Fort Scaur was another fort that was skillfully constructed during the uncertain times in British/United States relations in the 19th century. This fort stands tall atop Scaur Hill, as an inland fort to protect the interior of the island. The dry moat and panoramic views are the greatest draws to this site, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and free to enter.

Political Sites

Just behind Town Hall in St. George is the Old State House, which was built in 1620 out of turtle oil and lime mortar. The interior does not offer much to see, but a view of the outside makes for a nice stop on your tour of the island. If you are interested in how Bermuda's government works, you may prefer to visit the Sessions House in Hamilton, where the House of Assembly meets between November and May. Visitors are permitted to watch meetings in the galley.

A tour of the island's landmarks will allow vacationers a glimpse into what life on the island has been like over the years, which creates a deeper connection with the destination.

 

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