Fort Margherita has a fascinating history, built in 1879 to guard Kuching’s River from pirates. The fort is located along the Kuching River in Sarawak. During the late 19th century, a canon shot was fired every evening to mark the end of the government work day. Named after Charles Brooke’s wife, Ranee Margaret, the Brooke Gallery was opened on September 24th, 2016, coinciding with the 175th anniversary of the founding of State. The gallery’s priceless historical documents, artefacts and arts from the White Rajah’s era, are wrapped in and preserved in time.
For those unfamiliar with its history, Fort Margherita was restored by the National Heritage Department and handed back to the Sarawak Museum Department ready for the development of the Brooke Gallery. It is a joint project of the Sarawak Museum Department, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as Mr. Jason Brooke the grandson of the last Rajah Muda and the Director of The Brooke Trust.
The Brooke Trust assembled an international team of advisors to develop the concept and create a sensitively-curated exhibition, focusing on a unique part of Sarawak’s history. The final installation of hundreds of artefacts, panels and display cases was a herculean logistical effort made possible by a large body of volunteers from Sarawak, the UK and Australia. An enthusiastic group of local volunteers has also come together as the Fort Rangers, helping support the daily operation of this historically significant gallery.