Fort Pembroke

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Fort Pembroke
Il-Fortizza ta' Pembroke
Part of the Victoria Lines
Pembroke, Malta
Entrance to Pembroke Fort.jpg
Entrance to Fort Pembroke
Coordinates35°55′37.0″N 14°28′51.8″E / 35.926944°N 14.481056°E / 35.926944; 14.481056
TypePolygonal fort
Site information
OwnerGovernment of Malta
Controlled byVerdala International School
Site history
Built byBritish Empire
In use1878–1978
MaterialsLimestone and concrete

Fort Pembroke (Maltese: Il-Fortizza ta' Pembroke) is a polygonal fort in Pembroke, Malta. It was built between 1875 and 1878 by the British to defend part of the Victoria Lines. The fort now houses the Verdala International School.


Fort Pembroke was built by the British to defend the Grand Harbour as well as part of the Victoria Lines. The building of the fort was proposed in a defence committee recommendation in 1873, and construction started on 24 January 1875 and was finished in December 1878.[1] The fort has an elongated hexagonal shape, surrounded by a ditch and glacis. It contained underground magazines and casemated garrison quarters. It was armed with three RML 11 inch 25 ton guns and one 64-pounder gun, which were mounted en barbette.

Fort Pembroke ditch

By the mid-1890s, the fort's armament became obsolete, and instead of upgrading the armaments, the nearby Pembroke Battery was built.[2] The fort became an ammunition depot and storage area for small arms ammunition. Its gate was widened and a fixed metal bridge replaced the original rolling bridge.

In World War II, the fort was used as a prisoner-of-war camp, housing German prisoners.[3]

The British military establishments in Pembroke were closed in 1978 and the fort remained unused for nine years until 1987.

Present day[edit]

Verdala International School moved into the fort in 1987. Since then, the school has grown from 110 to 400 students. Due to this increase, the school has expanded to include some barrack blocks close to the fort. The campus is leased by the government to the school until the year 2072.[4]

The fort was scheduled by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) as a Grade 1 national monument in 1996. The protection status was revised to include the surviving glacis of the fort in 2009.[5]


  1. ^ "Places of interest". Pembroke Local Council. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  2. ^ Darmanin, Denis (15 September 2013). "Pembroke: from war symbol to spacious modern town". Times of Malta. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Fort Pembroke". Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Facilities". Verdala International School. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Protecting the most significant buildings, monuments and features of Pembroke (6) - Fort Pembroke and its armaments". Times of Malta. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2015.