Fort Rodd Hill
|Fort Calendar||Fort Blogs||
Fort Rodd Hill (1894-1956) - A Canadian Coastal Fort first established in 1894 as a part of the "Victoria-Esquimalt Fortress". Located in present day Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Named after Admiral John Rashleigh Rodd. Deactivated in 1956.
Fort Rodd Hill History
Part of the Harbor Defense of Victoria and Esquimalt Harbors.
The Canadian Harbors at Victoria and Esquimalt were protected by five separate gun batteries with emplaced naval guns starting in 1878. In 1893 an agreement with Great Britain established for a common defense of both harbors. The result of this agreement was the construction of two forts, Fort Rodd Hill on west side of the entrance to Esquimalt Harbor and Fort Macaulay on the east side of Esquimalt Harbor at the entrance to Victoria Harbor. Fort Macaulay was the site of one of the five existing batteries and was armed with three, 7" rifled muzzle loaded (RML) guns. Fort Rodd Hill was a new fort built on a rock bluff at the harbor entrance. Both forts were to mount three, 6" disappearing breach loaded (BL) coastal defense guns in modern reinforced concrete gun emplacements.
This plan coincided with the construction of similar but more extensive American fortifications during the Endicott Period across the Straits of San Juan De Fuca at Fort Worden, Fort Casey and Fort Flagler for the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound.
Three reinforced concrete gun batteries were constructed on Fort Rod Hill between 1895 and 1900. The Fort Rodd Hill Upper Battery had a single 6" disappearing gun while the Fort Rodd Hill Lower Battery mounted two 6" disappearing guns, these batteries were designed to engage larger enemy ships at a distance. Battery Belmont mounted two rapid fire barbette 12-pounder guns that were designed to counter small, fast motor torpedo boats that might attempt to enter the harbor.
Click on Battery links below
|No.||Caliber||Type Mount||Service Years||Battery Cost||Notes|
|Fort Rodd Hill Upper Battery||1||6"||Disappearing||1895-1941||£ ?|
|Fort Rodd Hill Lower Battery||2||6"||Disappearing||1895-1942||£4419|
Searchlights were first installed at Fort Rodd Hill about 1902 and were meant to light up targets at night. There were two lights installed, No. 1 was on the west side of the point and No. 2 was located on the east side near the lighthouse. The No. 1 light was a narrow beam with a range of about 5000 yards while the No. 2 light was a wide beam with a range of about 2000 yards. The searchlight system was updated during World War II with modern 60" searchlights. By the end of the war 17 searchlight positions ringed the harbor. Two of the Fort Rodd Hill searchlight shelters still exist, one disguised as a fisherman's hut.
Must See! Now a part of Fort Rodd Hill, Parks Canada park. Period guns and carriages in place. Restored and interpreted gun batteries.
Location: Fort Rodd Hill Parks Canada Park, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Maps & Images Lat: 48.4323 Long: -123.4504
Visited: 22 Jun 2009
Fort Rodd Hill Picture Gallery
Click on the picture to see a larger version. Contribute additional pictures - the more the better!