Links and documents
1813/01/01 to 1815/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located on a high rocky promontory overlooking the harbour, the Carleton Martello Tower is a strongly built, plain, squat, cylindrical stone tower that is two storeys high. The tower’s exterior wall inclines slightly inwards as it rises up to the parapet. Shuttered windows and an arched doorway pierce the wall on the second level. The entrance is accessed by an exterior stairway. A two-storey, concrete command post was added to the top of the tower in 1941. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Carleton Martello Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Carleton Martello Tower is associated with the defence of British North America and Canada between 1812 and 1918 and with the defence of eastern Canada during the Second World War. The tower was intended to defend Saint John during the War of 1812 but was not completed until after the conflict, as the construction was staggered from 1813 to 1815. Upgrading began during the 1830s and it was armed during the Fenian threat in the late 1860s. During the First World War it served as a detention centre for deserters and during the Second World War as an observation, artillery and command post for Saint John Harbour.
The Carleton Martello Tower is a good example of a functional 19th century military structure. The original portion of the tower illustrates the second phase of martello tower construction in Canada. The tower displays the very good functional and massively strong characteristics of the Martello towers.
The Carleton Martello Tower is compatible with the coastal defence setting of Saint John. Located on a high promontory it is highly visible throughout the Saint John area. The structure is a landmark to both local people and to visitors being a point of reference for the harbour.
Sources:Catherine Cournoyer, La Tour Martello de Carleton, St-Jean, Nouveau-Brunswick. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 98-121, Carleton Martello Tower, Carleton Heights, Saint John, New Brunswick, Heritage Character Statement 98-121.
The following character-defining elements of Carleton Martello Tower should be respected:
Its functional military defence design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the simple geometric massing of the squat cylindrical tower;
- the massive exterior walls built of rubble masonry which inclines slightly inwards as it rises to a parapet wall and which is in turn topped by a later two-storey concrete observation post;
- the shuttered windows and the entrance that pierce the wall on the second level;
- the exterior stair access leading to the entrance.
The manner in which Carleton Martello Tower is compatible with the present character of its coastal defence setting and acts as a regional landmark as evidenced by:
- the structure’s specialized military defence design;
- the highly visible location that can be seen throughout the Saint John area and is a point of reference to the harbour for locals and visitors.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
1941/01/01 to 1941/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Military Defence Installation
Architect / Designer
British 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