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Alan Rudwick collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y30448J

Scope and Contents

Loose photographs taken by Alan Rudwick unless otherwise indicated. All photographs are 215 x 165 mm unless otherwise stated. They fall into two groups; photographs of trade castles (1-28) and other views, chiefly of Achimota. Along the West Africa coast are the remains of more than 40 castles and fortified posts set up by European nations engaged in commerce, including the Transatlantic slave trade, with West Africa, the greatest concentration being in what became the Gold Coast, now Ghana. The order of the entries follows their position from west to east along the coast. The castles represented in numerical order of the photographs: Princestown: Gross-Friedrichsburg (1) - this castle was the headquarters of the Brandenburg merchants and was begun in 1683; Dixcove Fort (2) - an English fort was begun on this spot in the 1690s; it has endured many sieges and has undergone a great deal of rebuilding; Elmina: St George's Castle (3-11) - this site was first occupied by the Portuguese in 1482, passed into Dutch hands in 1637 and was sold to Britain in 1872. It has undergone many architectural changes in this period; Elmina: Fort St Jago (12-14) - this stands on a hill near Elmina Castle: it was fortified by the Dutch in the 1630s and the present building was begun in the 1660s; Cape Coast Castle (15-17) - this was the main English castle and its construction dates from the 1770s; Anomaboe: Fort William (18-21) - this British fort was begun in 1753. Its eastern block is now used as rest house, and the northern as a post office; Cormantin: Fort Amsterdam (22-23) - the fort was built by the Dutch in the 17th Century; Christiansborg [now Accra] (24-28) - this castle is on a site which was originally built on by the Swedes, occupied by the Dutch, and taken by the Danes in 1661. It was gradually developed into a major building, but was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1872, 12 years after the British had bought the Danish possessions. It eventually became Government House for the Gold Coast and was substantially rebuilt.


  • Creation: 1950 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright was assigned to Cambridge University Library in 2002. Please contact to request or license images from this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Alan Rudwick was Headmaster of Achimota College, Ghana between 1965 and 1977.


1 file(s) (48 images in 1 file)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Photographs are in good condition unless otherwise stated.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Alan Rudwick in March 1986.

Related Materials

Other photographs of Achimota are at: Y30448G; Y30448H and Y30448I.


This collection level description was updated by PJ using information from the original typescript catalogue. The history, architecture and present condition of these buildings was meticulously researched by Professor A.W. Lawrence in 1951-1957 and his book Trade castles and forts of West Africa (1963), London : J. Cape is the standard work on the subject. It has been used for background information in the list.

Date information

DateText: 1950s-1960s ? Dates from photographs where available..


Rudwick, Alan, fl 1965-1977, headmaster

2002-11-18 14:13:57+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom