Fort Frederick Tower

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Fort Frederick Tower (1846-1870) - A Martello tower defense established in 1846 on Fort Frederick in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Abandoned as a fortification in 1870.

Fort Frederick Tower Entrance, Ditch & Camponiere
Fort Frederick Tower Interior, 32-pounder Carronades
Fort Frederick Tower


One of Three 32-pounder Cannons on Upper Level
Two of the Three 32-pounder Cannon Pivot points on Upper Level

Built as one of six Martello towers between 1846-1848 in Kingston Harbor during the height of the boundary dispute with the United States known as the "Oregon Crisis". The six towers are listed below:

The six Martello towers were (West to East):

In 1846-1847 the remains of the 1812 blockhouse on Fort Frederick were leveled to make way for the construction of the Fort Frederick Martello Tower. Of the six towers constructed around Kingston Harbor the Fort Frederick Tower was the most sophisticated. The top gun platform mounted three 32-pounder cannons that covered Kingston Harbor and the approaches to the strategic Rideau Canal. Six 32-pounder carronades provided closer support firepower and additional cannon mounted on the old Fort Frederick earthworks made the defenses formidable for the time. Directly across the harbor from Fort Frederick was Shoal Tower, a similarly armed tower with three 32-pounder cannons on the top level. Shoal Tower was also supplemented by the Kingston Market Battery.

The "Oregon Crisis" was quickly resolved but the U.S. Civil War raised new concerns and the towers remained armed. The advent of rifled cannon during the U.S. Civil War made the masonry Martello towers obsolete and ineffective as defensive structures. The towers continued in use as barracks and for other support functions until the departure of British troops in 1870 after Canadian Confederation.

Current Status

Part of the Arms Collection in the Museum

Must See! Located on the old Fort Frederick site at the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The tower itself houses the RMC Museum which includes a complement of two 32-pounder cannons and six 32-pounder carronades as well as an exceptional collection of period arms. Fort Frederick is located at the tip of Frederick Point which also houses the Royal Military College of Canada and access is controlled at the entrance gate to the College. Open to the public during summer months, normally public access is permitted.

Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.227688 Long: -76.469559

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: .....'

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Visited: 29 Jul 2012

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