Sentosa Heritage Trail - Forts

From 1878, Fort Siloso was constructed to defend the western entrance to Keppel Harbour and the straits around Singapore. Built on Mount Siloso, the fort includes artillery and antiaircraft emplacements, as well as machine gun, search light and command posts. There is also an extensive network of barracks, casemates, underground magazines and tunnels built into the hill.
For centuries, the straits around Singapore have been a key passage within global trade routes. Commanding these waters, the island of Pulau Blakang Mati (the former name of Sentosa) was regarded as strategically important by colonial powers since the 17th century.
This pier at Siloso Point was built in the late 19th century to service the nearby Fort Siloso. Before roads were laid in this area, the pier was the only access point and as used to transport guns, building materials, equipment and other supplies from mainland Singapore for the construction and maintenance of Fort Siloso.
imbiah battery
From the early 19th century, the hills of Siloso and Serapong, standing watch over the western and eastern approaches to Singapore respectively, had been identified as suitable sites for military fortifications. Mount Serapong was also the highest point on Blakang Mati, reaching 92 metres at its summit. An infantry redoubt thought to have been completed in the early 1880s was the first defensive work here. In the early 1880s, the British War Office approved a new battery on Serapong, which became operational in 1887.

Pulau Blakang Mati had been identified as a potential defence outpost since at least the 17th century. However, it was only in the late 1800s that the island was militarised, with artillery batteries, forts, barracks and other infrastructure constructed by the British. This trail explores the extensive fortifications on Sentosa, including Fort Siloso, Imbiah Battery and Fort Serapong, and how they featured in the defence of colonial Singapore.

 

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