Fort Frederick

With the outbreak of the War of 1812, a blockhouse was quickly constructed on Point Frederick complementary to an earlier one built on Point Henry. Both provided protection for the Kingston dockyard which was the pivotal point of the Provincial Marine on Lake Ontario. Defences were strengthened throughout the war, with significant log-and-earth fortifications added on both sites. Guns within the original Point Frederick earthwork installation were used on 10 November, 1812, against American Commodore Isaac Chauncey's naval squadron in his failed attempt to destroy both the dockyard and the largest British vessel there, the Royal George.


Contemporary sketch map of Navy Bay, Point Frederick, and Point Henry, illustrating the fortifications on each point.

Contemporary sketch map of the shores and measures in the vicinity of Kingston from a survey by Lieutenant H.L. Renny, RE, and soundings by Acting Lieutenant W. Bayfield, RN. Fortifications and buildings are illustrated on both Points Frederick and Henry.


In the decades after the war, Fort Frederick's stone Martello Tower with its surrounding walls and earthworks were constructed on the original Point Frederick site. This was part of six similar installations built to strengthen Kingston's defences, the dockyard, the Rideau Canal, and entrance to the St Lawrence River from possible United States aggression in such crises as the Canadian rebellions in 1837 and the later Oregon Boundary dispute. Fort Frederick was only abandoned in 1870. The name of both the Point and Fort is still debated as honouring either Frederick, Prince of Wales, the father of George III or Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor of Canada in 1764. Today the Fort Frederick Martello tower houses the Royal Military College of Canada Museum.

Walking Tour

Panel 5 is located inside Fort Frederick, just beyond the Martello Tower that serves as the RMCC Museum, beside the footings of an earlier blockhouse.

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