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Fort Cornwallis, Georgetown, Penang with Kids.

Last Updated 18/11/2022.

The kids and I went to Fort Cornwallis in Georgetown, Penang yesterday, I posted a photo on my Facebook page and Suzi asked me ” What’s in Fort Cornwallis?” So here, just for Suzi, is a brief run-down on Penang’s historic fort. We also have a full post on things to do in Penang as well as “Highlights of Malaysia for Families and with kids” if you’re looking for more ideas.

Fort Cornwallis, Penang

Fort Cornwallis on the Island of Penang is a popular tourist attraction and a great place to take kids. To get the most out of your time in Penang we recommend you book a tour that includes Fort Cornwallis, that way you won’t miss out on learning about the history of this fort, and of Penang itself. Check out this tour for your trip! It includes Fort Cornwallis, plus the other “Seven Wonders of Penang.” Book it here!

Fort Cornwallis Georgetown Penang Kids
 Fort Cornwallis Georgetown Penang Kids

It was a very stormy day in Penang and very welcome rain eventually drove us out of Fort Cornwallis, the light wasn’t great for photos. See why we were doing a rain dance in Freaking out in Malaysia.


Inside Fort Cornwallis, Penang

Fort Cornwallis faces the sea in the north of Georgetown, the historic heart of Penang. It’s described as being star-shaped, I didn’t get that at all from the inside. To see the star shaped fort you’d need a drone view.

The fort is named after Charles Cornwallis, Governor General of India in the late 1700s.


Captain Frances Light took possession of Penang Island in 1786, established a British trading post and built the fort for the military, the fort stands on the site of his landing.

The fort never saw military action, its role was mostly as an administrative base for the British East India Company.


The fort today consists of the outer wall, a flag pole, the gunpowder magazine, some prison cells or barracks and the chapel.

Penang Malaysia Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis was a big hit with my small boys, they could run around, the canons were a winner and the gunpowder storage building and chapel were good for playing in.

“The Chapel” was possibly another ammunition storage facility, the walls are extremely thick and there are no windows.


One of the Fort Cornwallis canons has a name, it is Seri Rambai and was cast in 1603, a legend tells that it rose from the sea unassisted when it sank on board a ship. Childless women place flowers on the canon to ask for fertility.

There is a big sign saying, “Please do not sit on this canon.” Nobody was taking any notice of that while we were there.

penang Cory 107 (550x374)

 photo of Seri Rambai by Cory @ Adventure Bee

 So there you go Suzi, that is what’s in Fort Cornwallis, Penang. If you’re coming to Georgetown take a look, it’s only 2MYR to get in, under a dollar, and is a great place for the kids to have a run around and learn a bit of history. Thanks for asking the question!

Hotels Near Fort Cornwallis Penang

The following family-friendly and kid-friendly hotels are near Fort Cornwallis Penang.

VERY Hotel is an affordable and nice-looking hotel with family rooms about 500m from Fort Cornwallis in Georgetown Penang. You can see it on Agoda here, or on here. The theming is really cute for kids!

For a more luxurious stay check out Muntri Mews, which is still quite affordable, yet has colonial style family suites. Muntri Mews is on Agoda here. and on here.


Enjoy Fort Cornwallis, and Penang

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Suzi Hansborough

Friday 28th of June 2013

I love it!! Thanks so much for the follow-up. What a cool place for a couple of kids to explore. The story if a cannon rising unassisted in the 1600s now being linked to fertility made me chuckle. =)

I hope that rain you got helped improve your air quality somewhat.


Saturday 29th of June 2013

Hi Suzi, yes, the haze has cleared now, the wind is blowing it further south and we've had rain every day, we can breath! I love that you asked for more information, it gave me an excuse to share more photos and a few more words, I sometimes feel that I write too much, you gave me a good excuse to write another post. Thanks for being interested!

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