History and culture

St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site

Tensions were mounting in British North America when war was declared between the US and Great Britain in June of 1812. Conflicts raged at sea and along frontier borders. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in war and often invaded by Americans.

On the shores of St. Andrews, the townspeople grew fearful of attack by American privateers and military. Residents banded together to raise funds and built two batteries, each with its own wooden blockhouse.

The St. Andrews Blockhouse and battery were built by locals with militia support to stand guard over the harbour. On the upper floor, a 4-pounder carronade was mounted. Below, Royal Artillery soldiers occupied barracks for the war’s duration. The western battery was originally equipped with three 18-pounder guns, all pointing seaward.

Today you can tour the only remaining blockhouse in Canada built for the War of 1812!

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