Old Fort Ghat, Calcutta, c1787

oldFortGhaut2পুরনো কেল্লার ঘাট, কলকাতা, c১৭৮৭
This is a view of the Old Fort Ghat adjoining old Fort William. The old Fort was built at the turn of the eighteenth century. In 1757, an attack on the fort by the forces of Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, led the British to build a new fort in the Maidan. The old Fort buildings were repaired and used as The Company’s factory and offices including the Customs House that stared functioning from 1766. Both goods and passengers were unloaded from ships at the landing-stage shown here. According to the instructions issued by the Customs House in February 1807, “no goods whatever imported at Calcutta. From sea, or for exportation from Calcutta by sea, will, in future, allowed to be landed at, or shipped from any other Ghaut, but that to the south of the custom house at Calcutta.” The ghat was also a popular bathing place for the people of Calcutta.
Coloured etching with aquatint by Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) c1787

12 thoughts on “Old Fort Ghat, Calcutta, c1787

  1. Hi! Would like to thank you immensely for your response.

    Reading your comments it does seem like the old Fort Ghat (kella ghat or Koilaghat) is likely to be near Koilaghat St. Since the course of the Ganges changed due to silting, we no longer have traces of the old Fort Ghat. And we have the Strand Road on which the southern ghats of Kolkata lie.

    However, the location of the old Fort Ghat very much coincides with today’s Fairlie Place Ghat since there are no other ghats in that area, just the Baboo Ghat on its south and Armenian Ghat on its north.

    Place comment!

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    1. Hello Jonaki,
      The best guide for your questions should be the old maps. Fortunately, you may consult quite a few online at no cost if you have searching skills

      Koilah Ghat (Coelah Ghat), earlier known as ‘New Wharf’, and the Fort Ghat were located at the southern and northern extremities of the OLD FORT.
      1. Fort Ghat. – a name it has retained for a hundred and fifty years— marks the northern limit of that fortress. The Custom House, comprised the old Fort that was completed in 1700, and captured in 1756. Ultimately the ruins pulled down in 1820. Fort Ghat was renamed for a while as ‘Custom House Ghat’ (Map of Calcutta from actual survey in the years 1847-1849).The Ghat was located at the end of the modern Fairlie Place. However, in Upjohn’s map of 1794. Fairlie Place figures as a passage without name leading to the Old Fort Ghat.

      2. Koilah Ghat. – Located at the extreme southern limit of the Old Fort, where ends the present Koilah Ghat Street – the street which led to it from the Great Tank was earlier known as Tackshall Street (Tackshall= ‘Custom House’ in Dutch)

      Hope, this will help you to find situations better. Wishes
      .

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      1. Thanks a lot Sir. This was immensely helpful.

        Like

  2. Hello Sir,
    Has the Old Fort Ghat been renamed as Fairlie Place Ghat?

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    1. Hello Jonaki,
      The modern Fairlie Place Steamer Ghat seems to have no connection with the long forgotten Fort Ghat that existed for a hundred and sixty years, marking the northern limit of the fortress.. Wishes

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      1. Hi! Would like to thank you immensely for your response.

        Reading your comments it does seem like the old Fort Ghat (kella ghat or Koilaghat) is likely to be near Koilaghat St. Since the course of the Ganges changed due to silting, we no longer have traces of the old Fort Ghat. And we have the Strand Road on which the southern ghats of Kolkata lie.

        However, the location of the old Fort Ghat very much coincides with today’s Fairlie Place Ghat since there are no other ghats in that area, just the Baboo Ghat on its south and Armenian Ghat on its north.

        Please Comment

        Like

  3. Nirmalya Niraj Kumar Sarkar January 13, 2017 — 11:51 am

    Can you give the exact location of old fort William and old fort ghat

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    1. Hello Nirmalya,
      I am not sure of my own understanding about the location of old Fort William, but ready to share with you what I think reasonable.
      The old fort was situated in the same plot where the GPO and the Bankshal Court presently located. The Fort campus, however, covered the ground behind St John Church at south, and at the east it was extended behind the Writers Buildings, where the old Court House once stood. The core area of the old Court has been clearly indicated in the “Plan for the intelligence of military operations at Calcutta“. 1756. The Plan can be seen at http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00maplinks/colonial/calcuttamaps/call1756/call1756leftmax.jpg.
      Best wishes

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      1. Nirmalya Niraj Kumar Sarkar November 10, 2017 — 12:45 pm

        Thank you Sir

        Like

    2. The old Fort Ghat was situated near the end point of the street presently called ‘Koila Ghat Street’, originally ‘Kella Ghat’.

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      1. Nirmalya Niraj Kumar Sarkar November 10, 2017 — 12:46 pm

        Thank you for the Reply

        Like

      2. Koila Ghat stood at the southern extremity of the old Fort, while Fort Ghat stood at the northern extremity. Am awfully sorry for the misleading comment made earlier.

        Like

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