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The Cotton Tree, is the heart of Freetown

A huge monster tree in the heart of the capital City of Freetown, which is said to be over 200 years old.


The Cotton Tree is an historic symbol of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. According to legend, the "Cotton Tree" gained importance in 1792 when a group of former African American slaves, who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, settled the site of modern Freetown. These Black Loyalist settlers, called "Nova Scotians" in Sierra Leone, founded Freetown on March 11 1792. According to tradition, they landed on the shoreline and walked up to a giant tree just above the bay and held a thanksgiving service there, gathering around the tree in a large group and praying and singing hymns to thank God for their deliverance to a free land. Today, a huge Cotton Tree stands in the oldest part of Freetown near the Supreme Court building and the National Museum. Sierra Leoneans believe that this very tree was where the "Nova Scotian settlers prayed more than two hundreds years ago, and they regard it as the symbol of their capital city. Sierra Leoneans still pray and make offerings to the ancestors for peace and prosperity beneath the great Cotton Tree. This was especially true during the Sierra Leone civil war (1991-2002).

The Cotton Tree

Cotton Tree, Freetown is one of the sites which you cannot miss in this part of Sierra Leone. The Cotton Tree stands for peace, prosperity and freedom. The beautiful city of Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. Apart from this, it is also a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. The city is located in the Western Area of the country on the Sierra Leone peninsula. Besides being the hub of the administration, economy, commerce, education and communications, Freetown is also the cultural center of the nation. Cotton Tree, Freetown is one of the most enduring images of the city and the most emblematic symbols signifying perhaps the most important section of the history of the country.


Freetown, with its large numbers of places of historical and cultural interest and a quaint charm of its own, has become a popular tourist destination in this part of Sierra Leone. Away from the rushes of the 'touristy' crowds, Freetown is slowly emerging on the global tourist map as one of the most sought after places the modern-day travelers are flocking to like never before.


The Cotton Tree today has become a site for offering prayers for peace and prosperity. It is one of the most well known and most frequently visited tourist attractions in Freetown.