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Map of Halifax, 1865

Type: Image

Starting in the late 1820s, the fortifications of Halifax were developed into a formidable defence complex. The new Citadel on the hill dominated the city’s landscape with batteries dotting the coast to provide crossfire against enemy ships. George’s Island was also heavily fortified to block the passage leading into Bedford basin. This 1865 map of Halifax shows these defences were woven into the layout of the city. (Library and Archives Canada, NMC 48125-6/6)

Site: National Defence

32 pounder guns mounted on traversing wooden garrison platforms

Type: Image

These early 19th century British artillery pieces are mounted on platforms that allow guns to swing in a wide arc and thus follow a moving target such as a ship. These reconstucted carriages are found at the Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site near Montreal, Quebec. The fortifications were built to defend the canal lock - the first built in North America.

Site: National Defence

The 'French Gate' at Fort Niagara.

Type: Image

Construction of the so-called 'French Gate' began at Fort Niagara in 1756. Note the coat of arms - from 1725, the royal coat of arms of France was ordered to be put up over the main gates of towns and forts in New France. The fort itself dates back to the 1720s, and was expanded substantially at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. Several of the original French structures still stand, incorporated within later British and American works. The whole site is now a New York state park.

Site: National Defence

Belmont Battery at Fort Rodd Hill, British Columbia

Type: Image

Built in 1898-1900 to protect the entrance to the Royal Navy (and later the Royal Canadian Navy) base on the Pacific, the battery has been restored to its appearance during the Second World War 1939-45. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Reconstructed earth and timber house at l’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland

Type: Image

This house was reconstructed in the style of those built by the Vikings at l’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland around the year 1000. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

The bay at l’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland

Type: Image

L’Anse aux Meadows was the site of a Viking settlement at around the year 1,000. The area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Aerial view of Fort Lennox

Type: Image

Fort Lennox was built on Isle-au-Noix just north of the American border between 1819 to 1826. Its purpose was to block the way towards Montreal to any hostile force coming up the Richelieu River from Lake Champlain. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

9-inch Armstrong Rifled Muzzle-Loading gun on a traversing platform

Type: Image

This large cannon is in a coastal battery at York Redoubt National Historic Site near Halifax. This type of gun weights 12 tons (12.2 mt) and fires a projectile of 256 pounds (116 kg.) at an effective range of 2,000 yards (1829 m.). Great guns such as this one were installed in Canadian major forts from the 1860s. During the 1880s, the eight forts defending Halifax had thirty-eight 9-inch (22.8 cm.) guns as well as fifteen 10-inch (25.4 cm.), fifteen 7-inch (17.7 cm.) and nine 64-pounder (29 kg.) RML cannons ready to battle enemy warships. The mountings and the concrete ‘Moncrieff’ emplacement pit, named after its designer, were a refinement of the 1890s which allowed gunner to fire the gun over a high parapet while being well protected from enemy fire. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Fort Prince of Wales

Type: Image

This aerial view shows Fort Prince of Wales, just across the Churchill river from present-day Churchill, Manitoba. Its construction began in 1717. The fort was taken without a fight by a French expedition to Hudson Bay in 1782. It was said to be the only sizeable bastioned stone fort on the Arctic Ocean. Its walls were restored in the 1950s. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Fort George, Upper Canada

Type: Image

In 1794, Jay’s Treaty led to withdrawal of British forces from Fort Niagara. In 1796, work began on Fort George at Newark (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario), directly across the Niagara River from the older fort. Fort George was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812. It is now a major National Historic Site. The wooden palisade at the centre of this photograph sits on top of the earth-built curtain wall linking two of the fort's six stone bastions, one of which can be seen at the end of the palisade. To the left is a part of the ditch (or 'covered way') surrounding the fort, along with an further earthwork known as a ravelin. The ravelin, with its own wooden palisade and small blockhouse inside, made it more difficult for any attacker to assault the curtain wall.

Site: National Defence