Fort Island lies at the mouth of the Essequibo River. It holds some of the most prolific and well-preserved pieces of Dutch history in Guyana. However, one that is not so well-known to many is the Court of Policy.
This building is a solid brick structure and was used as a courthouse and office during the week. It is 103 feet long and 36 feet wide with walls that are approximately 24 inches thick. The building holds three chambers and one central hall flanked by smaller rooms. It is here that criminals were once put to death.
The Court of Policy is the oldest non-military structure in Guyana and, to this day, church services are held there occasionally. It has served a number of purposes throughout the years; being a store, a church, a court, seat of government and even a sales office.
One fascinating fact about the Court of Policy is that it contains the tombs of three persons, two are said to have been Dutch officials and the third, the child of another Dutch official.
The Court of Policy was declared a National Monument by the Guyana Government in 1999. It is maintained by the National Trust of Guyana.
(Article taken from the Guyana Inc. Magazine Issue 27)