Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Black Hole Powder Magazine is buried in the earthen walls of the Bastion de Bourgogne at Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada. The building is a rectangular, masonry structure whose visible presence at the fort is its above-ground, arched masonry opening that is flanked by a curved stone retaining wall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Black Hole Powder Magazine is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Black Hole Powder Magazine is associated with the theme of the British-French rivalry in the struggle for empire in the 17th and 18th centuries in Acadia. It is also associated with the re-discovery of Fort Anne by Prince Edward as a strategic military site. The major expansion of the fort under his direction in the 1790s represents the last burst of British military activity in the area. The Black Hole Powder Magazine is the only built resource to survive from this major period of reconstruction.
The Black Hole Powder Magazine is a good example of a specialized military structure in the context of a fortification. Its character resides in the features expressing its status as a specialized military structure designed either for bomb-proof storage and handling of gun powder or the imprisonment of soldiers.
As an integral component of the defensive work the Black Hole Powder Magazine is compatible with the military character of its fort setting and is a landmark at Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada.
Sources: Heritage Research Associates, Five Buildings, Fort Anne National Historic Site, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 97-092; Black Hole Powder Magazine, Fort Anne National Historic Site, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 97-092.
The following character-defining elements of the Black Hole Powder Magazine should be respected.
Its specialized military design and construction, for example:
- the simple massing of the rectangular structure.
- the mounded earth cover.
- the architectural treatment and secure placement of the entrance.
- the curved revetment walls of rubble stone.
- the vaulted bomb-proof construction of the passageway and the magazine roof that is comprised of a rubble stone vault with a slate-covered timber roof and thick earth cover.
- the magazine’s ventilation system which consists of a slotted opening in the rear wall connected to an unlined masonry flue which terminates in a chimney stack extending above the parapet.
The manner in which the Black Hole Powder Magazine is compatible with the military character of its fort setting and is a landmark at the Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada, as evidenced by:
- its specialized military defence structure which is an integral component of the defensive work and which harmonizes with adjacent structures.
- its role in the interpretive program at Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada which makes it a familiar landmark to visitors to the site.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Military Support
Architect / Designer
Corps of Royal Engineers
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada
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