Fort Hayes is one of four sections of the Ascension Island Heritage Society Museum & Gallery and your museum entry fee includes entry to the fort. It is one of three naval forts in the Georgetown area – the other two being Fort Bedford and Fort Thornton – the oldest and least preserved which I didn’t visit.
Fort Hayes was constructed on Goat Hill in the 1860’s, on the site of a small battery that had existed there since 1835. It was an important part of the island’s defence system and by the start of WWI had one six-inch gun, two 4.7-inch guns, and was garrisoned by 38 men. The fort was named after Commodore Hayes who had visited the Island in 1831. I can find no record of this fort being engaged in any hostile activity.
At the base of the fort (to your right as you enter the fort – you can see part of it on the very right of picture one attached) is the reserve magazine which was designed in a way that it could double as a temporary hospital in times of war. Today it is packed with museum exhibits and likewise forms part of the Museum and Gallery.
While there are no guns in place now it is nice to wander round the preserved walls and some of the rooms of this fort. Additionally the fort affords gorgeous views back to Georgetown (and Cross Hill) and out to sea.
Entrance Fee : GBP 2 combined entry to Fort and other parts of the Museum – Payable at the main museum about 50 metres further on from the Fort on your left.
Opening hours: Saturday mornings – 10.00 to noon and Tuesday evenings 5.00 to 7.00.