By: Chaïra Flanders
Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 13, 2019 (ZIZ News): A restoration project is currently underway at the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park.
The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society is currently undertaking a Restoration project to repair a collapsed wall in an area of the park known as the Orillion Bastion.
Brimstone Hill Fortress was built between the 1600’s and 1700’s by African slaves and has since been maintained by the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society under the Companies Act.
General Manger of the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, Mr. Percival Hanley explained that although the wall collapsed in 2016, undertaking work such as this restoration project requires more than just repairing it.
He said this is why a team of stone specialist and archaeologists were contracted to assess and repair the damage.
Archaeologist, Gerald Schroedel is joined by two other archaeologist who visited the site in November to assess the nature of the damage caused by the collapsed wall. He said it was important for the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society to call in his team to ensure that no historic pieces were damaged. He also told ZIZ that pieces of artifacts like animal bones and ceramic bottles were discovered.
And in a moment of excitement, our production team learned that never before seen war cannons were discovered beneath the earth during the digging process and would not have been found if the wall did not collapse.
Owner of Parvenir Heritage Restoration Ltd out of Trinidad, Justin Charles, is accompanied by a 4 member team. He explained that stone specialists are needed to complete work on historic sites like Brimstone Hill because materials that were used ages ago may not be compatible with the modern day tools.
He gave an example by explaining how reconstructing the wall with Lime and Portland cement has proven to be complex but possible.
He said this is the case because lime mortar and Portland cement are not compatible but a specific technique will help to get the job done.
Charles later explained that larger stones known as volcanic rock will be placed on the outside of the wall while smaller stones known as rubble stones will be placed inside of the wall and then volcanic rock will be strategically placed again to keep the rubble wall sturdy and to maintain its historic design.
Local workers from neighbouring communities have also been contracted by the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society to assist in the completion of the project.
The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society was founded in 1965 for the main purpose of restoring, preserving and managing the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress