Fort Edward National Historic Site of Canada

Windsor, Nova Scotia
Corner view of Fort Edward, showing two façades and its location in relation to other landscaped components of the fort such as the cannon, 1991. © Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 1991.
General view
© Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 1991.
General view of Fort Edward showing its articulation as a defensive structure with sparse door and window openings and plentiful gun slits, its surviving original materials and craftsmanship, 1991. © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. P. Jérôme, 1991.Corner view of Fort Edward, showing two façades and its location in relation to other landscaped components of the fort such as the cannon, 1991. © Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 1991.General view of Fort Edward showing the blockhouse and cairn in the background, emphasizing the cultural landscape of Fort Edward, 1983. © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, F. Cattroll, 1983.
Address : Water Street, Windsor, Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1920-01-30
Dates:
  • 1750 to 1750 (Construction)
  • 1750 to 1812 (Significant)
  • 1922 to 1922 (Significant)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Deportation of the Acadians  (Event)
  • Seven Years War  (Event)
  • War of 1812  (Event)
  • Major Charles Lawrence  (Person)
Other Name(s):
  • Fort Edward  (Designation Name)
  • West Point Blockhouse  (Other Name)
Research Report Number: 1995-AM-01, 2011-CED-SDC-020
DFRP Number: 02778 00

Plaque(s)


Unknown:  King Street, Nova Scotia

This area was well-populated by Acadians when Halifax was founded. British troops had been observing their settlements for some time before 1750 when Major Charles Lawrence built Fort Edward to forestall a possible attack on Halifax by either Acadians or Indians and to intercept their trade with Louisbourg. In 1755 a thousand Acadians were deported from the vicinity of the fort. During the American Revolution and again during the War of 1812, the fort was reinforced to protect Windsor and the road to Halifax. A garrison remained here until 1850.

Description of Historic Place

Fort Edward NAtional Historic Site of Canada comprises a wooden blockhouse as well as remnants of buildings and landscape features from an 18th century fortification on the outskirts of Windsor Nova Scotia where the St. Croix River joins Pesaquid Lake. The official recognition refers to the only surviving structure from the fort, the blockhouse.

Heritage Value

Fort Edward was designated a national historic site of Canada for: the role it played in the struggle for predominance in North American from 1750 to the War of 1812, which includes, the French-English-Aboriginal struggle for predominance during and after the Seven Years War, the Deportation of the Acadians, local defence during the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

The heritage value of Fort Edward National Historic Site of Canada lies in its illustration of the British presence during this struggle, specifically as expressed in the surviving cultural landscape of the fortress. Fort Edward was built by Major Charles Lawrence of the British Army in 1750 and originally consisted of a number of wooden buildings set inside a palisaded square with four bastions, ramparts, a ditch, a counterscarp and glacis. Its buildings included a blockhouse, two barracks and a provisions storehouse. Fort Edward was transferred to national historic sites in 1922. Its blockhouse has been restored and opened for visitation.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, July 1995.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
the siting of the blockhouse with the cultural landscape of Fort Edward, still legible as a British fort with star-shaped ramparts and blockhouse; the strategic location of the site at the confluence of St. Croix River and Pesaquid Lake; the Blockhouse with its square massing, tripartite design with squat lower storey, overhanging upper storey, and pyramidal roof, its articulation as a defensive structure with sparse door and window openings and plentiful gun slits, its surviving original materials and craftsmanship; its location in relation to other built and landscaped components of the fort, viewplanes to the St. Croix River and Pesaquid Lake.