Fort Margherita

Fort Margherita is an old fort constructed in 1879[3] by Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak situated in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The fort is an important landmark and monument in Sarawak's history which goes back to the Brooke Dynasty.[1] The fort, built in the style of an English castle, was designed to protect Kuching from being attacked by pirates.[4][5][6] It served as a Police Museum from 1971 before being handed over to the Government of Sarawak and now is a tourist attraction in Kuching. The fort now houses the Brooke Gallery, an exhibition showcasing the history of Sarawak under the Brooke Dynasty.[5][7]

Fort Margherita
Fort Margherita - the main tower and the walls
General information
LocationKuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Coordinates1°33′38″N 110°20′58″E
Construction startedunknown
Cost$8,100 Sarawak dollar[2]
OwnerGovernment of Sarawak
Technical details
Floor count3

It is situated across the Sarawak River near The Astana, the official residence of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak and is accessible by road. It is a 15-minute drive along Petra Jaya, or a short river cruise from Pangkalan Batu, in front of Main Bazaar on Kuching Waterfront and located next to the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building.[8] It is part of the Kuching Heritage Trail.[9]


Fort Margherita is named after Brooke's beloved wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt,[10] whom he married at Highworth, Wiltshire on 28 October 1869; she was raised to the title of Ranee of Sarawak with the style of Her Highness upon their marriage.[6] The fort was built on a hill overlooking the Sarawak River and situated on the north bank opposite the then fast expanding town centre of Kuching. The fort was well equipped to protect the capital from river-borne invasions.[6]


The three-storey tower block's battlement includes a watchpoint on top, a courtyard surrounded by a high wall with sharp glass shards inlaid for protection, and set into the wall itself are wooden windows from where the cannons were fired. Executions of prisoners were carried out in this courtyard, right up to the Japanese occupation during World War II.[1]

In 2016, The Brooke Gallery, which showcases belongings from the Brooke family and artefacts during their time as the White Rajahs was opened.[2][5] The gallery is a collaboration between the State Museum Department, Tourism Cultural and Heritage Sarawak and the Brooke Trust.[2][7] The opening of the gallery received support from volunteers from Sarawak, the United Kingdom and Australia.[11]


  1. James Alexander Ritchie (28 December 2018). "Fort Margherita – Sarawak's Bastion of Protection". New Sarawak Tribune. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  2. Saiful Bahari (25 September 2016). "Brooke Gallery opens at Fort Margherita". The Borneo Post. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. Sarawak Long Ago. 1969. p. 33. ISBN 983-62-3981-2.
  4. Graham Land (2018). "Kuching's colonial heritage". Asian Correspondent. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  5. Sam Bedford (9 June 2018). "The (Almost) Romantic Tale of Kuching's Fort Margherita". Culture Trip. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  6. Geryl Ogilvy (6 July 2017). "Walkway for Fort Margherita". The Star. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  7. "Old Kuching Heritage Trail". Sarawak Tourism. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  8. MC Wong (1 October 2018). "The Ranee (Queen) Exhibition by Brooke Gallery — Kuching Old Courthouse". Medium. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  9. "Volunteer". Brooke Trust. Retrieved 27 February 2019.

Media related to Fort Margherita at Wikimedia Commons

Brooke Gallery - Brook Trust website

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