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Battle of Eccles Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Frelighsburg, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1923/05/25

General view of the Battle of Eccles Hill, showing the commemorative monument, 1989.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1989.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Battle of Eccles Hill National Historic Site of Canada
Battle of Eccles Hill
Bataille d'Eccles Hill
Eccles Hill
Pigeon Hill

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/02/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Battle of Eccles Hill National Historic Site of Canada is located on a hill near the Canada–United States border between Vermont and Quebec, close to Frelighsburg, Quebec. It overlooks the battlefield where the Battle of Eccles Hill took place in 1870. The field, over 3,000 square metres, is surrounded by a fence on three sides and by a road on the fourth, and includes a three-pound canon, remnants of the confrontation and a commemorative granite monument dating back to 1902. The official recognition refers to the plot bound by the fence.

Heritage Value

The Battle of Eccles Hill was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1923 because:
- the Canadian volunteers and home guards here repulsed the Fenian invaders on the 25th May, 1870.

The historical value of the site lies in its association with the events of the Battle of Eccles Hill. In 1870 the Fenians crossed the Canada-United States border at the top of Eccles Hill and came up against Canadian home guards and volunteers. This confrontation was initiated by a group of Irish patriots exiled to the United States to start a revolutionary movement for Ireland’s independence. They wanted to weaken England by attacking Canada, which proved to be a failure.

The site and the granite monument commemorating the event are located relatively close to the battlefield and the Canadian positions, but the battle took place just south of the Canada–United States border.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1922; 2009; Plaque Text, 1922 and 1980.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of the site are:
- its location on a hill overlooking the battlefield, near the Canadian strategic positions, close to Frelighsburg, Quebec;
- its setting in a rural area enhanced by lasting landmarks, including farmland and barns;
- its natural aspect marked by trees and rock formations, which fit in with the surrounding rural environment;
- the definition of the site’s boundaries by a fence;
- the three-pound canon, taken from the Fenians;
- the commemorative monument of the Battle of Eccles Hill in the shape of a large granite block mounted on a granite base and stonework resting on a pile of rocks, an initiative of the Missisquoi Historical Society and the Department of National Defence;
- the viewscapes from the monument across the rolling farmland.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1870/05/25 to 1870/05/25
1902/01/01 to 1902/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type


Commemorative Monument


Battle Site

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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