A long sandy beach interrupted by lagoons and swamps characterizes the coastlands west of the mouth of the River Ankobra.
At Beyin, however, there is a stretch of flat solid sandy ground above the beach.
The Tano basin and the Ankasa forest in the hinterlands of Beyin are rich in gold and timber.
Thus, even though the coastlands were unsuitable for fort building and harbours, European nations, especially the French, Dutch and English competed for a foothold in the area.
The English Committee of Merchants, in response to an invitation from the Nzema Chief Amenihyia, built the last English fort above the beach at Beyin.
The English employed slave labour and quarried limestone rock from a nearby site to build the fort in 1768-70.
The name Apollonia, chosen for the fort, was first conferred on the area by the Portuguese explorer who sighted the place on St. Apollonia’s day.
Shortly after the abolition of the slave trade, gradual economic decline set in and the English abandoned the fort in 1819.
In 1868, Fort Apollonian was transferred to the Dutch who renamed it after their monarch, Willem III, and held it till 1872.