The East India Company authorities came to Thalassery in 1683 and started a godown here. At that time, the land was ruled by the Kolathiris, and with their permission, the British built a small fort on a small hill called Tiruvellapadkunnu. In 1708, they strengthened the fort. The fort helped the British to establish a stronghold in Malabar and in 1776, the British made it their administrative center. The British sustained strong military establishment at Thalassery, from 1776 to 1784.
Thalassery Fort or Tellicherry Fort is a historical monument situated in Thalassery, a town in Kannur District, Kerala. It was built by the British East India Company in the year 1708. This square shape fort is built out of laterite blocks and has a unique architecture with massive walls and intricately carved doors. One unique feature of the Tellicherry fort is the entrance, which is situated through a giant wall. Also inside the fort having a tunnel connected to the Arabian sea (closed now) and an old lighthouse to show the way for ships. There are two underground chambers to store Cardamom and Pepper. Thalassery was one of the most important trading centers of Kerala. This fort offers incredible views of the sea and the low laying nearby areas of Thalassery. Thalassery fort is now supervised by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The fort, though originally established as a godown for cardamom and pepper, became a strategic center for the military activities of the British. It was there that Arthur Wellesley planned out his strategy to fight the great warrior, Pazhassi Raja. In 1781 Hyder Ali, ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore was unsuccessful in capturing the Fort in his campaign to control Malabar. His successor, Tipu Sultan, was forced to cede Malabar District to the British in 1792, at the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Maratha War. After Independence, the fort housed many government offices. Later, recognizing its historical significance, it was handed over to the Department of Archaeology, its present custodian. The famous Malayalam movie 'Pazhassiraja' was filmed at this historical fort.