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Guardhouse, Upper Battery

Colwood, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/08/28

Exterior photo; (J. Mattie, NHSD-HSB, Parks/Parcs Canada, 1997.)
Exterior photo
View of the Guardhouse's south side and part of the loopholed defensible wall near the gate, 1997.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, J. Mattie, 1997.
South side of Guardhouse
Interior view of the Guardhouse depicting the living room looking beyond into the kitchen.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, J. Mattie, 1997.
Interior view

Other Name(s)

Guardhouse, Upper Battery
Upper Battery Guardhouse
Poste de garde de la batterie supérieure

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1895/01/01 to 1898/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Guardhouse sits behind the Upper Battery protecting its entrance. The flat-roofed, concrete structure has a low, rectangular massing and a prominent chimney with an integrated gate and perimeter wall. The front elevation has four windows and an off-centre front door under a sloped porch roof. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Upper Battery Guardhouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Upper Battery Guardhouse is a very good example of a structure associated with the original planning and construction of Fort Rodd Hill and is illustrative of a pivotal phase of development. The guardhouse is a typical component of the military planning for forts and bases.

Architectural Value:
The Upper Battery Guardhouse is a good example of a functional, early 20th century military structure. Designed to accommodate a small contingent of soldiers, the guardhouse is of simple appearance with a horizontal emphasis. The plastered concrete structure and wooden porch exhibit good craftsmanship with distinctive patterned painting around the windows. Its doors add to the aesthetic appeal.

Environmental Value:
The Guardhouse is unchanged and reinforces the stark military character of the Upper Battery. The placement of the structure to the north, together with the defensible wall, defines one edge of the Upper Battery’s entry courtyard. Its presence continues to reinforce the military character of the site.

Joan Mattie, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgarde Light station, 603, Fort Rodd Hill Road, Colwood, B.C. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 96-096.

Guardhouse – Upper Battery, 603 Fort Rodd Hill Road, Colwood, British Columbia. Heritage Character Statement 96-096

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Upper Battery Guardhouse should be respected, for example:

Its functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship such as:

-The simple, single-storey flat-roofed rectangular massing of the plastered concrete structure with its prominent chimney.
-The sloped porch, with its exposed rafters, roof sheathing, and wood posts with chamfered edges.
-The wooden six-over-six sash windows.
-The original three-room layout, the wood casings, trims, the heavy wooden doors of the bedroom loopholes, and the painted plaster walls and wood flooring.
-The distinctive patterned painting around windows and doors.

The manner in which the Upper Battery Guardhouse reinforces the present character of the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site as evidenced by:

-The site of the Guardhouse to the north behind the Upper Battery integral with the defensible wall, defining one edge of the Upper Battery’s entry courtyard.




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 Support

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




Related Places

General view

Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site of Canada is a 19th and 20th century coastal defence site strategically located on Esquimalt Harbour near Victoria, British Columbia. It…


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