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South Caponier

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/03/28

Exterior photo; (I. Doull, Parks, 1995.)
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)

South Caponier
South Caponier
Caponnière sud

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The South Battery of York Redoubt is a self-contained, concrete structure that consists of gun bases, two subterranean chambers and an underground passage. The gun bases are partly enclosed by curved parapets and separated by a raised observation platform. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The South Battery is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The South Battery is closely associated with the defence of the Imperial naval station during the period of strengthening of coastal fortifications, and the deployment of breech-loading ordnance. It displays the latest military engineering innovations for an open battery of the rifled muzzle-loading guns era.

Architectural Value
The South Battery is a very good example of a multi-functional military structure, integral to a permanent fortification. Evidence of the very good functional design of both the exterior and interior of the structure are found in the features which define its caponier and gun battery function. The integration of an underground passage into an open gun battery, the provision of bomb-proof protection for the stores, and maintaining a proper interval between guns were achievements of the Royal Engineers.

Environmental Value
The South Battery reinforces the character of the defensive military setting at the York Redoubt and is familiar structures to those who visit or work at the Fort.

Ian Doull, York Redoubt, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 95-001.

South Battery (Caponier), York Redoubt, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 95-001.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the South Battery should be respected, for example:

Its specialized military utilitarian design and very good functional design, for example:

-The features which define the gun battery function such as the cement concrete foundation, drum and parapet of the barbette emplacements; the countersunk ringbolts in the curved inner face of the parapet; the ammunition recesses in the rear face of the parapet; the C pivot racers on dwarf traversing platforms; the concrete crew shelter and general artillery store recessed into the rampart on the left flank; and the concrete look-out place accessed by a short flight of stairs.
-The features which define the caponier function such as the concrete one-storey fighting caponier with four faces; the three square musketry loopholes in the two forward faces; and the three vertical musketry loopholes in each of the flanking faces.
-The wall construction of the underground shell and cartridge stores; the construction of the slightly inclined passage serving the caponier; and the concrete banquette serving the forward facing loopholes.
-The functioning drains in the floor and the brick lining at the walls and ceiling.

The manner in which the South Battery reinforces the character of the defensive military setting and is familiar at the fort, as evidenced by:

-Its specialized military design and above grade exposed concrete elements which harmonizes with the adjacent structures and landscape of the military area.
-Its visibility and familiarity to staff and visitors of the fort.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Military Defence Installation

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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York Redoubt

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