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Halifax Defense Complex, Georges Island, Fort Charlotte, South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/03/28

General view of the South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers, 1992.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, HRS, 1992.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Halifax Defense Complex, Georges Island, Fort Charlotte, South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers
84A, 84B, 84C Caponiers
Caponnières 84A, 84B, 84C

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1866/01/01 to 1867/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers, also known as 84A, 84B and 84C Caponiers, as an integral part of Fort Charlotte, are situated on Georges Island located in Halifax Harbour. Similar in design, they are distinctive single-storey buildings with walls of masonry and brick, each with an elongated rectangular plan and with a steep gabled roof. The walls are pierced on both sides by musketry loopholes. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers are Recognized Federal Heritage Buildings because of their historical associations, and their architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers are very good examples of structures associated with the defence of the Imperial naval station of Halifax against potential military incursions by the United States.

Architectural Value:
The South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers are valued as very good aesthetic examples of specialized defence structures integral to a permanent fortification and which display the prototypical characteristics of fighting caponiers from the era of smoothbore armaments. These very functional defensive buildings exhibit very good craftsmanship and materials.

Environmental Value
The South, Southeast, Southwest Caponiers reinforce the present military character of the Georges Island National Historic Site setting.

Sources: Rhona Goodspeed, Georges Island, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Volume Two, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 95-001; The South, Southwest and Southeast Caponiers (No.84a, 84b and 84c), Fort Charlotte, Georges Island, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia Heritage Character Statement 95-001.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers should be respected.

Their very good aesthetic and functional designs and very good quality materials, for example:
-the low profile, the high-pitched gable roof and the elongated rectangular plan spanning the ditch between the high escarp and the lower escarp walls.
-the strengthened roof comprising of a semi-circular profile brick vault of five rings built to form a steep pitch gable shape.
-the four foot (1.22 metres) thick ironstone rubble side brick walls with upper vertical musket loopholes along each of their lengths.
-the long, access tunnels of each caponier.
-the internal drainage system, unique to each structure.
-the materials, including enormously thick ironstone rubble with brick, and cut granite details as seen in the regular quoining on each of their roofs.

The manner in which the South, Southeast and Southwest Caponiers reinforce the present military character of the setting within Georges Island National Historic Site of Canada as evidenced by:
-the specialized military design and materials that maintain a visual and physical relationship to the dry ditch, the escarp walls and the earthen counterscarp.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1996/03/28

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Defence
Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

Lieutenant-General William F. Drummond Jervois, Corps of Royal Engineers

Builder

n/a

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

7304

Status

Published

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