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Fort Clarence (1754-1929) - A British colonial coastal fort first established as Eastern Battery in 1754 in present day Dartmouth, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Renamed Fort Clarence by Prince Edward on 20 Oct 1798 after his brother the Duke of Clarence. Purchased in 1929 by Imperial Oil Company.
Fort Clarence History
Part of the Harbor Defense of Halifax.
Established as Eastern Battery in 1754 soon after Halifax was founded and evolved into a gun battery protected by an octagonal blockhouse. In the 1790s a Martello Tower was built to replace the blockhouse, it was completed by 1798. On 20 Oct 1798 both the fort and the tower were named by Prince Edward after his brother the Duke of Clarence. The fort is described at this point in time as "The tower stood over the present centre of the fort. Outside was a ditch. Earthworks were thrown up on the seaward side. Guns were afterwards mounted behind these earthworks."
The fort remained in this basic condition until 1864-1868 when both Fort McNab and Fort Clarence underwent great change. The two upper stories of the tower were removed leaving the first floor as a barracks. The battery was significantly improved and the whole fort was upgraded with proper stone and masonry protections enclosing the whole fort site. In March 1866 the Fenian scare of invasion from the United States hastened the arming of the new battery but that scare quickly passed and the upgrades were completed in 1868. The results were noted by an observer, "The fort was one of the best of its kind in the world."
Around 1889 the remaining story of the tower was removed and the basement of the tower was incorporated into a magazine. The men were then quartered in the casemates.
The fort site was acquired by Imperial Oil Company in 1929 as part of a refinery expansion project. The fort was still visible in 1931 aerial photographs of the Imperial Refinery on the water line at the western edge in seemingly good shape. It was demolished in 1942 to make room for storage tanks vital to the World War II effort. Construction work for a new flare stack at the refinery in 2007 exposed some forgotten remains of the fort.
Archeological remains and a marker on the site of the Imperial Refinery in Dartmouth,, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Map point is approximate. The marker is located on the right side of the main door in front of the main office building of the refinery.
Location: On the site of the Imperial Refinery in Dartmouth, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Maps & Images
Lat: 44.63954 Long: -63.54042
- Piers, Harry, The Evolution of the Halifax Fortress 1749-1928, The Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1947, 155 pages
Fort Clarence Picture Gallery
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