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Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland National Historic Site of Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is the fort shaped like a star?

    The 17th century French military engineer, Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban, designed star-shaped fortifications, which included angled earthen walls, bastions and cannon platforms. Because of its high flat walls, a castle was an easy target for cannon balls. A star-shaped fort, on the other hand, with its many angles and corners was harder to hit.

    The cannons were placed on top of each bastion and could fire in every direction (cross-fire) thus protecting the fort from all sides. This eliminated any blind spots.

  2. What is a casemate?

    A casemate is an underground area used to store provisions. It was also used for shelter during bombardments and as temporary quarters in times of emergency.

  3. Why is it so windy at Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland NHSC?

    Indeed it is often very windy at this site because the fort is built on a high ridge of land, overlooking the Tantramar Marsh. It is also located between two bodies of water, the Cumberland Basin and the Northumberland Strait.

  4. Are the foundations we see inside the fort the actual ruins?

    Yes, the stone ruins from both the French and the British periods have been stabilized and partially restored. The wood in the underground casemates is not original.

  5. Where was Fort Lawrence?

    Fort Lawrence was built in 1750 by the British on the east (Nova Scotian) side of the Missaguash River, on the former site of the French Acadian village of Beaubassin. Fort Beauséjour was built by the French on the ridge on the west (New Brunswick) side of the Missaguash in 1751.

  6. Where did the Deportations begin?

    The deportations began at Fort Cumberland in August 1755.When Fort Beauséjour fell to the British in June 1755, they renamed it Fort Cumberland. and it  was used as the initial headquarters to round up and imprison many of the French Acadians of the area.