Ever thought of a trip to Ghana? If not, maybe it’s high time you went there and see what the country has to offer. Fort William Lighthouse is one of the monumental landmarks of the country.
Located on Dawson’s Hill top in the small town of Cape Coast, the tiny fort was built in 1819-1820 using mud and stone, and was initially called Smith’s Tower, in honour of Governor Hope – Smith. The construction served as a signaling post, making up a chain of 3 surveillance posts erected on the hills of Cape Coast and surrounding the Cape Coast Castle that were used to protect it against Ashanti attacks.
The modern building of Fort William was built over the former fortress, using more durable materials. Before 1838, the tower was converted to a lighthouse and renamed Fort William Lighthouse, and continued to be used as a lighthouse until the 1970’s.
At present it serves as a home for several families who work at the castle.
The fort is open for visitation between 9am and 4:30 pm, but always keep in mind that you’re more or less walking into and around someone’s home, so a friendly approach will be deeply appreciated. Plus, you’ll get more insights into the traditional Ghanaian lifestyle! From the hilltop you get a mesmerizing view of the beach and the villages.
Apart from the beauty of it, the lighthouse tower has a dark history going back to slave trade. If you wish to learn more about the tumultuous history of Ghana, the lighthouse fort is a must-see. From here you can easily access the colourful harbour and the nearby restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a traditional meal and a drink.
Fees range from U$ 7 for non-Ghanaian adults, U$ 4 for non-Ghanaian students, and as little as U$ 2 for non-Ghanaian researchers. Use of private camera incurs an extra cost of GH¢0.5.