Possible 19th-century fortress uncovered in Bangkok

29 October 2007 (The Nation Multimedia, Bangkok Post) – What is thought to be a fortress built during the reign of King Rama IV (1808-1868) was unearthed during the construction of a government office in Bangkok.

Fortress built in King Rama IV era unearthed

The Khlong San District Office in Bangkok has already suspended the construction of its new building because the planned site now revealed a part of what was believed to be a historically-valuable fortress built in the reign of King Rama IV.

The planned site was located next to the Pongpajjamit Fort, which has been registered as a national historical site since 1949.

“That registration has not covered areas surrounding the fort,” Tharapong Srisuchart, who heads Fine Arts Department’s Office of Archaeology, said Monday.

He joined Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin and Culture Ministry permanent secretary Vira Rojpojchanarat during an inspection at the planned site for the new building of the Khlong San District Office Monday.

While the land on the planned site was being cleared, 98 ancient logs were found.


Ruins of old fort found at building site
Construction of a new building at the Klong San district office has been suspended after the ruins of an old fort, Pom Pong Pajjamit, were unearthed at the site.

Culture permanent secretary Veera Rojpojanarat said the old fort used to sit opposite Pom Pit Pajjanuek on the other side of the Chao Phraya river.

Workers preparing the site for concrete piles found about 90 old teak logs, each 3.5-5m long, at the site, which covers about 125 square wah, on Oct 15. Other old items such as pots, large pestles and animal bones were also found.

Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin, who visited the site with Mr Veera yesterday, said he would discuss with the culture minister whether the area should be made a historical site. If the construction of the new building continued, the ground floor would be developed as a historical museum, he said.

The Klong San district office has set up a panel to examine the logs and other finds. There were previous reports that old canons had been discovered in a nearby area.

Mr Veera said the fort was built during the reign of King Rama IV. Aside from playing an important role in the defence of the city, the fort was an important signal station for ships entering and leaving Bangkok during the reigns of King Rama IV and King Rama V, he said.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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