Bermuda's first forts were constructed in 1612 and the building of fortifications continued until the 1940's. By the end of the Second World War approximately seventy sites had been fortified on the island and over one hundred forts have been constructed at these sites. Forts are the oldest stone buildings in Bermuda, and they represent every stage of the island's development - from a small isolated outpost of the British Empire in the 1600's to what became the Gibralter of the West in the 1880's and beyond.