Fort St. George Chennai

Fort St. George, Chennai first fortress built by British in India.

Fort St. George, Chennai

The British East India company started its operations in Chennai, and to have a settlement for the English people they built a fort, which is the first Birtish fortress in India in the historical White Town. The Fort St. George, Chennai is built in 1639 close to coast. People started settling in and around the fort which was buzzing with trading activity. Infact the city of Madras or Madraspattnam evolved around this fortress.

The British East India Company felt the need of a place and port closer to Malaccan Straits. And that made them purchase a piece of coastal land in the village of Chennapattanam from Channappa Nayak a chieftain of Vijayanagar kingdom and the construction of the fort was begun. The fort was completed on 23rd April and was named St. George fort in honour of the patron saint of England St. George. The fort faced the sea and there were a few fishing villages and the fort was the hub of trading activity.

Location of Fort St. George at Chennai

The area around the Fort St. George, Chennai was named George Town which was reffered to as Black Town too. The construction of Fort St. George and the evolution of George Town helped the British establish influence over the Carnatic regions and keep the kings of Arcot and Srirangapatna and the French Forces at bay.

Though for a short period of time, the fort served as the quarters for French, the British regained it again and currently Fort St. George serves as administrative headquarters.

Untill the new assembly building was built, the Assembly of Tamilnadu functioned in Fort St. George. Troops to many locations of South India and Andamans use Fort St. George as their transit location.

The museum of Fort St. George contains many portraits from the British region which includes portraits of governors too.


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