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Map of fort Beekenburg


Map of fort Beekenburg

Schrijver, Cornelis / Esdré, Godfried Carel

Title Leupe: Project om de Caraquesbay en het fort Bekenburg te versterken.

The prime purpose of the project plan for the improvement of Fort Beekenburg which was sent to the Republic by the engineers Esdré and Schrijver in July 1744, along with their plans for the new batteries on Piscadera Bay and Sint Michiel Bay, was to reinforce the fort on the landward side by building a double wall on two levels (M) on a star-shaped ground plan from which it could be defended with ‘Hantgeweer’ (firearms, muskets and other hand-held weapons). As it stood, Fort Beekenburg had only a semi-circular wall to protect the entrance to the tower (D) and a separate wall on the northeast side (E), with a low coastal battery located at the entrance to the terrain of the fort (I). The plan stated that this was too light and should be demolished and replaced by a much bigger and heavier battery (L).

One weak spot in its defenses, however, remained: the nearby 78 metre high Kabrietenberg (Mount Kabriet) on the peninsula southeast of the fort. Once in possession of this height, only 700 or 800 metres from Fort Beekenburg, marked on the map as ‘Hoog gebergde’ (High Mountain), an enemy would be able fire into the fort without difficulty. The mount was not fortified, but on the coast where ‘Loefhoek’ (Windward side) is marked, there was the small battery and guard post De Uitkijk (Lookout) or Ruiters Uitkijk (Horsemen’s Lookout). During the British action against Fort Beekenburg in 1805, the British troops would indeed take Mount Kabriet, but were driven off again before they could exploit this fatal weakness in Beekenburg's defense.

North is upper left.

Scale-bars of 15 Rhineland rods = [approximately 1 : 505] / [profiles] 15 Rhineland feet = [approximately 1 : 40].

Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Heijer, H. den, Grote Atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie = Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company, II, de nieuwe WIC 1674-1791 = the new WIC 1674-1791 (2012)