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Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 1612
Date of Inscription: 2000
Location: Europe, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, St George, Bermuda
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Description: Founded in 1612, the Town of St George is an exceptional instance of the New World’s earliest English urban settlement. The fortifications associated with the site vividly demonstrate the development of English military engineering from the 17th to the 20th century, tailored to comprise this period’s development of artillery. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  St. George's (formally, the Town of St. George, or St. George's Town), located on the island and within the parish of the same names, was the first permanent settlement on the islands of Bermuda, and is today the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the Americas. St. George's was first settled in 1612, three years after the first English settlers in Bermuda, who had been on their way to Virginia, landed on St. George's Island after the deliberate driving of their ship, the Sea Venture, onto a reef. They were led by Admiral Sir George Somers and Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Gates. The survivors built two new ships, and most then continued their voyage to Jamestown, but the Virginia Company laid claim to the island; it then sent a party of 60 new settlers to Bermuda to join the three men left behind by the Sea Venture, who, after a brief period on neighbouring St. David's, commenced construction of St. George's, located in a sheltered sound that kept ships protected from bad weather. This small town has considerable historical importance. Not only did it play a pivotal role in Bermuda's history (it was the capital until 1815), but it also helped shape that of the United States as well. During the American War of Independence, Bermudians stole much-needed gunpowder from forts protecting St. George's, and then smuggled it out of Tobacco Bay (over the hill from St. George's) to George Washington. They also probably prolonged the American Civil War by ferrying supplies and munitions to the desperate Confederates, a trade that was based in St. George's. Today, St. George's remains basically untouched by the economic boom that has shaped the capital Hamilton. Most of its buildings were constructed in the 17th to 19th centuries, and the authorities have made a deliberate effort both to prevent development, and to hide any signs of later changes. For example, power and telephone lines are underground, and the street lighting has a period style. Narrow streets such as Barber's Alley and Aunt Peggy's Lane remain just as they were centuries ago. In 2000, the town was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. In 1996, the town was twinned with Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, the birthplace of Admiral Sir George Somers. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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