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Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/03/28

Redan Classified Federal Heritage Building; (Rhona Goodspeed, Historical Services Branch, 1995.)
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1840/01/01 to 1853/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/05/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located in the Halifax Citadel Defence Complex, the Redan, v-shaped in plan, is a plain stone long horizontal structure in two sections and is surmounted by the terreplein and parapet. The outer walls of the Redan facing the ditch double as the escarp which on this side is a semi-circular arch framed by pilasters supporting an entablature, bearing a plaque on which the word ‘Citadel’ is incised. The escarp is capped by a coping and is pierced at regular intervals along one level by windows. Inside, the elevation of the Redan forms the retaining wall, which is pierced by doors and windows. Above the Redan appear the grassed ramparts and chimney stacks, at either end are staircases leading to the ramparts. Cast iron drainpipes appear at intervals along the wall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Redan is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Redan structure is an excellent illustration associated with the active defence of the Imperial naval station in the period of mutual suspicion and hostility between Britain and the United States following the War of 1812, and in the period of heightened tension following the Trent affair of 1861. It is also associated with the community development of Halifax after its completion in 1853 that was part of a major upgrade of the Halifax defences advocated by the Smythe Report of 1825 and largely accomplished between 1838 and 1862. The civilian employment generated by this project and the increased personnel needed to man the defences gave boost to the economy of Halifax.

Architectural Value
The Redan structure is a very good example representative of British specialized military design, displaying the prototypical characteristics of a bastioned masonry fort component, functionally designed for the mounting of smoothbore ordnance, and later adapted for RML ordnance. This value is characterized by its v-shaped plan, functional design, triumphal arch, wall construction and quality craftsmanship, its gun-ports and flanking musketry loopholes, the irregularly spaced window and door openings, the lightwell and the vaulted bomb-proof construction of the casemate roofs.

Environmental Value
The Redan physically joined to the Northeast and Southeast salients with the highest section of escarp wall in the fortification, reinforces the present military character and setting of the Halifax Citadel. As one of the main and integral components of the ramparts of the Citadel, the Redan is of similar scale, materials, and design to the other components of the ramparts and strengthens the presence of these components. The Redan is seen by the thousands of tourists and others from Halifax and the rest of Canada who visit the Citadel every year.

Rhona Goodspeed, and Edgar Tumak. The Citadel Vols.1+ 2, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 95-001.

Redan (including Casemates Nos. 34 to 50 and 36b to 48b), Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax Citadel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement 95-001

Character-Defining Elements

The following character defining elements of the Redan should be respected, for example:

Its features expressing its status as a specialized military structure, very good functional design and quality construction and craftmanship as manifested in;
-Its v-shaped plan and bomb-proof construction.
-Its two tall, long escarp wall faces forming a salient angle, the regularly coursed granite
ashlar walls with rubble filling and the straight retaining wall face characterized by
regularly coursed rusticated granite with rebated joints and a rubble filling.
-The triumphal arch design of the segmental arched main gate with voussoirs
framed with pilasters, supporting an entablature and attic with inset plaque.
-The gun-ports and flanking musketry loopholes serving the casemates of defence.
-The irregularly spaced window and door opening with flat arches.
-Its segmental profile brick vaults of multiple rings, a cement coating, an asphalt layer
and a thick earth cover.
-The dry area/lightwell serving the basement floor.
-The open fireplaces with inclined flues united in a chimney stack projection from the

The manner in which the Redan structure as one of the main and integral components of the ramparts of the Citadel reinforces the military character of the Halifax Defence Complex.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified 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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