Fort Clarence (Nova Scotia)

Fort Clarence (formerly the Eastern Battery) was a British coastal fort built in 1754 at the beginning of the French and Indian War in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. The battery was built on the grant of Capt. John Rous. Governor Edward Cornwallis’ principal engineer John Brewse designed the fort which was 35 to 40 feet above sea level - at the start there was a small battery of seven 12-pounder smooth bore cannon.[1] In spring 1759, a Mi'kmaq attack on the Eastern Battery killed five soldiers.[2]

Eastern Battery (far right), The British Squadron going off to Louisbourg Expedition (1757)
Fort Clarence (Eastern Battery) Plaque, Dartmouth, NovaScotia

On 17 November 1778, the King's Orange Rangers arrived by sea at Halifax.[3] The reason for the transfer was probably to stem desertions by relocating the men to a place much farther away from their homes. The KOR was assigned to protect the Eastern Battery on the shore of Halifax harbour at the south end of Woodside, where the neighborhood of Imperoyal now exists.

Eastern Battery was renamed Fort Clarence by Prince Edward on 20 October 1798 in honor of his brother, the Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews, later King William IV. In the late 1790s, a Martello tower replaced the blockhouse. The fort was rebuilt with stone in the 1860s.[4]

In 1929, Imperial Oil purchased the site which became part of its Dartmouth Refinery and the remaining parts of the fort were buried in the 1940s. The refinery was converted to an oil storage depot in 2013 and archeologists are calling for the fort to be excavated.[4]

See also



  1. ^ "Eastern Battery/Fort Clarence". Halifax Military Heritage Society. Retrieved 23 Sep 2023.
  2. ^ Chapman, Harry (2000). In the Wake of the Alderney: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1750-2000. Dartmouth Historical Association. p. 32.
    - Faragher, John Mack (2005). A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland. W.W Norton & Company. p. 410. ISBN 978-0-393-05135-3.
  3. ^ Leefe (1996), p.4.
  4. ^ a b Corfu, Nina (Apr 13, 2018). "Military fort under Nova Scotia oil facility should be excavated, archeologist says". CBC News. Retrieved 14 April 2018.

Further reading


44°38′24″N 63°32′24″W / 44.6399°N 63.5401°W / 44.6399; -63.5401