is the capital city
of the Turks and Caicos Islands
, located on the largest island
in the Turks Islands (not the Caicos) archipelago
, Grand Turk Island
. Historic 18th and 19th century Bermudian architecture line Duke and Front Streets in Cockburn Town. The town is known for its long, narrow streets and old street lamps.
The seat of government ever since 1766, Cockburn Town was the first permanent settlement on any of the islands, founded in 1681 by salt collectors who arrived in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The city supposedly lies on the place where Juan Ponce de León first landed on the island.
The oldest known shipwreck in the Western Hemisphere, the Molasses Reef Wreck, dated 1505, is exhibited in the Turks & Caicos National Museum, Grand Turk.
The closest anchorage to Cockburn Town is Hawk's Nest Anchorage, which, though sheltered, should only be entered in good light because of reefs near the entrance.