The Fort St. George Museum is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the age old fort. It was opened to the public from 31st January 1948. To start with, Madras Presidency Government in collaboration with the St. Mary's Church authorities, the disbanded army units and others contributed small objects to this museum. Gradually many other objects were acquired by various means. Today, there are 3661 registered antiquities in Fort Museum in Chennai, among which, the (602) in ten galleries are the best.
The museum was completed in 1795 and included the most popular Madras Bank. This historic building displays antiques in ten galleries stretched over three floors. As you enter the museum you can see the imposing marble statue of Lord Cornwallis (1738-1805) carved by Thomas Banks. This statue, that depicts the scene of surrender of two sons of Tippu as hostages, was sponsored by the funds raised from the public. If you love drawing then do not miss to visit the lobby and learn about the different stages of constructions and renovations from 1640 onwards.
You can also find various arms like rifles and pistols, mortars, petard, cannon shots, breast plates, swords, daggers, helmets, baton, bow and arrow. This museum also displays pieces of shells fired during the World Wars.
Everything related to army is displayed in this museum. You can find the uniforms of various ranks of the British Army, the ceremonial dresses of Madras Governor's Bodyguards and the Under Secretary of Madras Government, cushions used in the official investiture ceremony, 64 medals and medallions issued by the British Government for honoring its soldiers in various battles and also regimental colors of various units.
The porcelains used as official tableware by the East India Company and similar wares of the Arcot Nawabs are also displayed in the Porcelain Gallery of the Fort Museum. There is a separate Portrait Gallery where various portraits and oil paintings on canvas are displayed. These portraits include George III and his consort, Queen Victoria and Robert Clive, Sir Arthur Havelock. During your visit to the Fort Museum, Chennai, you should witness the earliest depiction of Fort St. George in 1738.
There is a separate section displaying silverware from the St. Mary's Church, and Zion Church, Tranquebar. Other sections of the Fort Museum, Chennai are the Prints and Document, Indo-French Gallery, coin Gallery and also a Reserve Collection including the First Marriage Register of the St. Mary's Church recording the marriage of Robert Clive.
This museum in Chennai is closed on Fridays. It remains open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. on every other day.