Shoal Tower

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Shoal Tower (1847-1870) - A Martello tower defense established in 1847 in Kingston Harbor, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Abandoned as a fortification circa 1870.

Shoal Tower from the Land Side
Shoal Tower Marker
Shoal Tower on the Left, the Kingston Market Battery was Located on Land Just to the Right of the Tower


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):

Shoal Tower Plan from the Marker

Built in 1847 on a shoal in Kingston Harbor to protect the entrance to the Rideau Canal. Shoal Tower mounted three cannons on the upper level with vaulted quarters below and the magazine on the lowest floor. The Shoal Tower was supplemented by the Kingston Market Battery located on land just behind the tower. Directly across the harbor from Shoal Tower was Fort Frederick Tower, a similarly armed tower also with three 32-pounder cannons on the top level. The Fort Frederick Tower was supplemented by the Fort Frederick earthworks batteries.

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

Not open to the public but easily viewable from Kingston City Hall in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Location: Kingston Harbor, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.22878 Long: -76.47819

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

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Visited: 29 Jul 2012

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