Fort Cornwallis

Currently Open [Closes at 07:00 pm]
  • Address: Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, Penang Hill
  • Timings: 09:00 am - 07:00 pm Details
  • Phone: +60-42620202
  • Ticket Price: 2 MYR
  • Time Required: 02:00 Hrs
  • Tags: Island, Park, Historical Site, Family And Kids, Fort, Military Area

About Fort Cornwallis, Penang Hill

Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. Set close to the Esplanade and Penang Clocktower, the star-shaped bastion is one of the oldest structures in Penang. Named after Marquis Charles Cornwallis, only a set of ten-foot high outer walls remain, with an enclosed park within.

Situated on Penang’s north-eastern coast, a stroll along the privately-managed Fort Cornwallis’ perimeters will take you about 10 minutes. It is a surreal experience to hear the 1812 Overture playing over the speaker system while a Malaysian man dressed in full British regalia stands at the gate. Inside the fort is a variety of vaguely-informative exhibits.

Built in 1786, Fort Cornwallis was intended as a defensive structure against pirates, Kedah forces and even the French during the Napoleonic Wars. However although it was initially built for the Royal artillery troops and the military, it served an administrative function rather than an actively defensive one. 

Spanning 4490 sq.ft. it was built as a stockade with no permanent structures. The fort stands on the site where Captain Francis Light first set foot in 1786 on the then virtually-uninhabited Penang and took possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah. He then established a free port to lure trade from Britain’s Dutch rivals.

Originally built of nibong palms, during Colonel R.T. Farquhar’s term as Governor of Penang Fort Cornwallis was rebuilt with bricks and stones using Indian convict labor thus transforming the wooden fort into a stone structure. Fort Cornwallis’ star shape is attributed to the fact that this design was a better defence against multiple fields of fire from enemies.

A bronze statue of Captain Francis Light stands near Fort Cornwallis’ main entrance. Inside the fort are prison cells, barracks, munitions storage areas, a harbour light once used to signal incoming ships and the original flagstaff.

At the southwest corner of the fort is Penang’s first chapel, built in 1799. You can also see several old bronze cannons inside the fort including Seri Rambai, which is popularly regarded as a fertility symbol. Locals often place offerings of flowers and joss sticks at its base.

The largest fort in Malaysia, Fort Cornwallis was initially built to ward off attacks from pirates but then was turned into an administrative building. Today it acts as an important historical structure with a number of tourists visiting it everyday. Buy tickets for Fort Cornwallis online to avoid wastage of time in huge lines. You can also find out Fort Cornwallis ticket prices before booking them and combine Fort Cornwallis tickets with other attractive deals and tours. Other tickets for Fort Cornwallis tours can also be purchased from our ticketing platform at great deals.

Fort Cornwallis Ticket Prices

  • For kids, the entrance fee is RM 1

How To reach Fort Cornwallis by Public Transport

  • On foot or by a trishaw.

Restaurants Near Fort Cornwallis

  • Quay Cafe
  • Seed Natural Food Cafe

Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in Penang Hill before you plan your trip.

Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Penang Hill and book an accommodation of your choice.

TripHobo Highlights for Fort Cornwallis

Are you associated with this business? Get in Touch

Things to Know Before Visiting Fort Cornwallis

  • 95% of people who visit Penang Hill include Fort Cornwallis in their plan

  • 34.24% of people start their Fort Cornwallis visit around 12 PM - 1 PM

  • People usually take around 2 Hrs to see Fort Cornwallis

Thursday, Friday and Sunday

81.62% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Fort Cornwallis

People normally club together Made In Penang Interactive Museum and Eastern & Oriental Hotel while planning their visit to Fort Cornwallis.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

Fort Cornwallis Map

Enable Map

Fort Cornwallis Trips

Fort Cornwallis, Penang Hill Reviews

  • A good way to spend a few hours in Penang - exploring the partially restored ruins of Fort Cornwallis. Not really a great deal to see but the admission is reasonably priced and the park offers a nice stroll with good views of the waterfront. The on-site restaurant offers an excellent variety of cold drinks and a decent luncheon/snack selection. We looked but could not find an explanation of why the British fort was named after the general who lost the war with the colonies (and ungentlemanly refused to surrender his sword to the victories George Washington at Yorktown in 1781).

  • As we entered the park we were met by Molly a guide. She was amazing told us all the history about the place showed us around . She also helped us with where to eat how to get back on the free bus. She got a map and really help us with places to eat and shop. But her knowledge about the park was amazing. A very nice lady. I recommend this place to visit and hopefully you will get Molly to make your day complete.

  • Very nice place, great for a little tour into the colonial past of Penang. Free tour guide. They are renovating it, so we couldn't see inside the residential building. Anyways wonderful thing to do.

  • It's a waste of value. If you want to see a deserted and under maintenance bunker and some rusty old canons, RM10 entrance fee is cut throat price. They have a well built entrance door with free flyers and a tour guide dressed like safari guide, gave us an impression of much interest. Alas, when we went in we found out that they closed down half of the place including the chapel. Nothing much to see apart of a gift shop, a restaurant and a beverage truck. We felt cheated. Shame on Cornwallis management.

  • We visited Fort Cornwallis yesterday at 1.30pm and waited for the next tour at 3pm. While we waited we ate at the restaurant which by local prices is expensive but for a visiting tourist is cheap. The food was delicious. My daughter and I chose the set menu. There was plenty of food - servings are generous. I've read the other reviews and if you didn't have a guided tour the fort is not very interesting. Our lovely guide told us about the history of Penang and the fort and it was most informative. It is also a lovely peaceful spot and a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown.

Read all reviews

All Questions

Fort cornwallis
    Simply click on Ask a Question to add question