Built during the British rule, Fort Cornwallis is the largest fort still remaining in Malaysia. This old star-shaped fort is situated at the north-eastern side of Penang island. The fort is named after Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis who was the Governor General of Bengal, India in the late 18th century.
Captain Sir Francis Light took possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786 and built the original fort. It was a nibong (Malay: palm trunk) stockade with no permanent structures, covering an area of 417.6 square feet (38.80 m2). Despite the fort’s original purpose to serve the Royal artillery troops and the military, historically it was more for administrative purpose than defensive.