Updated landscaping, signage, picnic tables and garbage bins are welcoming residents and visitors to the Guard House in Bodden Town.
The property, donated to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands by the Crown in April 1994, has been rededicated during a recent ceremony featuring representatives from the project’s major donor, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, as well as the National Museum, East End Garden and Gifts, Vision Marketing, Trust Chairwoman Carla Reid and Historic Programmes Manager Denise Bodden.
Historical records refer to a Guard House in Bodden Town in Grand Cayman as early as the 1830s.
Tradition has it that the site was one of the former capital’s lines of defence against invading
pirates and Spanish marauders.
Manned chiefly at night by the local militia, the Guard House served as their accommodation and its armament likely comprised of cannon, musket, sword, pitchforks, sharpened sticks or anything that could be used as a weapon.
Recent research indicates there was a wattle and daub building just to the west of the site, which could have been the original Guard House structure.
While the historic boundaries of the Guard House Hill site are unknown, it is thought to have included this site and land farther to the west, which would ensure anyone approaching from east on foot, as well as any unwelcome ships attempting to land,
could be seen.
Today, a thatched hut serves as an information centre on the Guard House and other sites in
The garden showcases many of Cayman’s endemic and indigenous trees.
The site’s two cannons were installed 1991 as part of the original enhancement efforts.
Two smaller cannons were previously located to the north and east, one pointing out to the reef and the other pointing in the direction of
The existing cannons were donated to the government by Gun Bay residents after they were salvaged from the Wreck of the Ten Sail in East End, which happened in 1794 off Gun Bluff.