FORT KYK-OVER-AL

This was erected at Cartabo Point in the Esssequibo River and appears to be the earliest Dutch fort.

Various historians give different dates of construction. Hartsinck claims that work on the fort commenced in 1613 and finished about 1623 while Major John Scott claims that it was started in 1616.

It is claimed that the building was finally completed by 1623 – 1627.

The ruins of the fort revealed that it was not very large. The ground floor was used as a storehouse and a magazine for food imports, goods received from the Indians and ammunition.

There were three rooms on the top floor – one for the soldiers, one for the Commandeur, and one for the Secretary. All that remains of this fort is an arch.

There were provision grounds around the fort and benabs for the conduct of trade with the indigenous Indians who brought cotton, tobacco, annatto, balsam copaibo, etc. to satisfy the demands of the Dutch.

It is claimed that originally the fort was named Fort ter Hoogen after “an Influential Dutch gentleman but its name was later changed to Kyk-over-al,” as a result of its strategic location that allowed for the view over the Essequibo River and its tributaries.