Royal Battery National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
1724/01/01 to 1732/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Royal Battery National Historic Site of Canada, located within the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada in Nova Scotia, is an archaeological site that dominates the north shore of Louisbourg Harbour. Appearing as a low grassy ridge, the outline of the battery’s ditch and glacis are still evident, as are the mounds that mark the remains of the flanking towers. The official recognition refers to the archaeological resources and landscape of the designated place in their existing spatial relationships.
Royal Battery was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1952 because of:
- the Battery’s role in the 1745 and 1758 sieges of Louisbourg.
The Royal Battery was part of the defences of Louisbourg harbour. The French began to build it in 1724 on the north shore of the harbour opposite its narrow entrance. The battery was essentially complete by 1728, but additions were made over the next few years and it achieved its final form by early 1732. Once completed, its cannons could theoretically fire directly at enemy ships coming through the channel and heading toward the town of Louisbourg. The battery was composed of two faces meeting at an obtuse angle, each face pierced by 15 embrasures for cannons. Behind the ramparts were barracks defended by a ditch, a small covered way, and a glacis. Finally, two towers defended the flanks of the work.
In 1745, the French abandoned the battery to the attacking colonial and British forces, who then used some of the French guns there to fire upon the town. Returned to the French in 1749, they disabled the battery before surrendering it once again to the British in 1758. The British finally destroyed it in 1760, at the same time as they were systematically destroying all the fortifications of Louisbourg. The town’s inhabitants further dismantled the site when they used it as a quarry for building stones. Today, the Royal Battery is an archaeological site within the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1985, June 2006.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location within the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada;
- its siting on the north shore of the Louisbourg harbour, opposite its narrow entrance;
- surface mounds and depressions indicating the location and design of the Royal Battery;
- subsurface archaeological resources relating to the battery;
- the materials of surface and subsurface archaeological resources in their current locations;
- the location, extent and materials of any undiscovered above and below ground archaeological artifacts and remains relating to the battery;
- the relationship between the battery and the Fortress of Louisbourg proper, and the relationship between the battery and the Louisbourg Harbour;
- the views from the Royal Battery towards the fortress, the narrow entrance channel and up and down the harbour;
- the views from the fortress and from the harbour towards the Royal Battery;
- the view planes and field of fire planes including views towards the lighthouse and island batteries.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1745/01/01 to 1758/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Military and Defence
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Military Defence Installation
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection