Bermuda’s World Heritage Site in St George’s will soon have a new feature where visitors to the old town of St George’s can meet characters from the Gunpowder Plot in 1775.
According to a statement released today (August 14), the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Norwegian Cruise Line is marking the role the scandal played in the island’s historical heritage with a cultural tourism initiative.
Today marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, which tested Bermudian loyalty to the Crown and underscored islanders’ close family and commercial ties with America.
The Plot also highlighted Bermudians’ support of George Washington’s Continental Army during the 13 colonies’ Revolutionary War against Britain.
On the night of August 14, several dozen men broke into an unguarded ammunition magazine above Tobacco Bay, stealing more than 100 casks of gunpowder for delivery to American ships waiting offshore.
The stolen powder made it safely to Washington’s troops, convincing the Continental Congress to lift its crippling wartime embargo on food and supplies to the island as a British colony.
Local actors, dressed in period costume, are helping bring the episode to life by regaling town visitors with facts and anecdotes about the event that exploded tensions between Bermuda, its colonial governor and the English government.
They are portraying characters such as staunch imperialist governor, George James Bruere, and Colonel Henry Tucker, long believed to be a conspirator in the plot, in a demonstration from now until Labour Day week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, between 9.30am and 2.30pm.
BTA chief experience development officer Glenn Jones said: “The feedback from store managers and visitors so far has been very positive.
“We’re excited to introduce these initiatives to St George’s and it’s encouraging to see this level of support from stakeholders.”
NCL guests who browse St George’s shops featuring Made in Bermuda artisans will be rewarded with a Bermuda gift.
Other activities include a daily Unesco World Heritage Walking Tour, a behind-the-scenes tour of St Peter’s Church and the daily historic re-enactment of the Ducking Stool.
Corporation secretary Candy-Lee Foggo said: “We are working to make the town more lively, with craft stalls in King’s Square, including Ashley’s Lemonade, with its refreshing drinks, plus buskers playing throughout the town, which all adds to the ambience.”
The Bermuda National Trust has also opened Tucker House, the historically preserved home where local conspirators were believed to have met, on Mondays and Wednesdays this month, from 10am to 4pm.
More information is available at the Visitor Services Centre, York Street, from 10am to 4pm.