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Saddle Hill Fortress
Saddle Hill Fortress

Saddle Hill Fortress

Saddle Hill, Rawlins, Nevis

The Basics

Horatio Lord Nelson is one of the most famous British Naval heroes of all time, and his history is intertwined with that of Nevis island. It was here that he met and married his wife Frances “Fanny” Nisbet in 1787, while serving as commander of the Leeward Isles squadron.

Saddle Hill Fortress calls to mind the days when the great naval forces of the world controlled the waters around the Caribbean, and offers panoramic views across the ocean from its thick stone walls. Although the fort is somewhat overgrown, it’s an atmospheric reminder of days gone by.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • If you’re planning to walk up to the fortress, bring water and wear appropriate hiking shoes/attire, as the walk can get very hot.

  • On a clear day, it’s possible to see all the way to the island of Montserrat.

  • See if you can find the original lookout windows carved into the stone walls.

  • On the way up the hill, you can see the grave marker of 17th-century resident Phillipa Prentiss, whose life story is explored in the book Rivers of Time by June Goodfield.

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How to Get There

Saddle Hill Fortress sits about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Nevis’ capital, Charlestown, and can be reached by car by driving east from town along the main road. Local hiking guides can lead you to the fort and explain more about the history and local flora and fauna along the way.

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Trip ideas

Top Sights on the Nevis Heritage Trail

Top Sights on the Nevis Heritage Trail


When to Get There

Nevis is an island in the Leeward Islands chain and enjoys hot, dry winters (December–April). It is inside the Atlantic hurricane belt, which means that storms and high winds are possible from June–November.

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Visit the Nelson Museum

For more information about Lord Nelson’s days in the Caribbean, head to Nevis’ Nelson Museum in Charlestown. It is said to house the largest collection of relics relating to the admiral in the Western Hemisphere, many of which were the personal collection of the late Robert Abrahams, a lawyer from Philadelphia who had a home on the island.

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