Fort de Goede Hoop, or Fort Good Hope, was built in 1667 at Senya Beraku on the Dutch Gold Coast.
In the 1660s, the Dutch established a lodge in Senya Beraku, but it was abandoned when the British constructed their fort at neighboring Winneba. The Dutch requested permission from the Queen of Agona in 1704 to erect a fort at Senya Beraku. It was built to facilitate the gold trade with Akim, a town north of Agona. Initially, the Dutch constructed a modest triangular fort known as Fort de Goede Hoop (or Good Hope in English). The gold trade was not particularly lucrative, but slaves were eventually sold at the fort.
The fort had grown too tiny by 1715, so the Dutch decided to enlarge it by breaking the diagonal and making it square-shaped. A slave prison was built in the fort’s southwest bastion. The fort was enclosed by an outer wall in the second half of the 18th century.
Captain Thomas Shirley traveled to the Dutch Gold Coast with the 50-gun ship Leander and the sloop-of-war Alligator in early 1782. Shirley took the tiny Dutch forts at Moree (Fort Nassau – 20 guns), Kormantin (Courmantyne or – 32 guns), Apam (Fort Lijdzaamheid or Fort Patience – 22 guns), Senya Beraku (Fort Goede Hoop – 18 guns), and Accra (Fort Crêvecoeur or Ussher Fort – 32 guns) during Britain’s war with the Netherlands.
Between 1782 and 1785, Britain seized the fort, as did the indigenous Akim community between 1811 and 1816. The fort was given to the United Kingdom in 1868 as part of a massive fort swap between the Netherlands and Britain.
The last fort built on the Gold Coast is this one.
Because of its closeness to a decent landing beach, the Dutch initially erected a small triangular fort on the promontory near a cove. The northeast, southwest, and southeast corners of the triangle fort have three bastions.
Due to the fort’s limited dimensions, which could not cope with the growing number of slaves, it was reconstructed into its current rectangular design in 1724. It featured four bastions with curtain walls, commanders’ garrisons, halls, kitchens, a female and male prison, stores, a granary, and a powder magazine room. Later on, an exterior wall was constructed, although it has nearly vanished.
The fort now functions as a rest stop as well as a tourist attraction.