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Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/03/20

General view of the Redoubt, 1996.; Graham, 1996.
General view
Front view of the Redoubt, 1996.; Graham, 1996.
Front view
General view of the redoubt, 1995.; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, H., 1995.
General view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1832/01/01 to 1836/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Standing guard on the heights of point Henry overlooking the eastern end of Lake Ontario the Redoubt is a specialized defensive military structure, and the most important element of Fort Henry. The Redoubt is a symmetrical, six-sided casemated fortification of massive proportions giving the impression of very great strength. The massing is relatively low compared to its total size. The Redoubt has tall coursed limestone ashlar escarp walls pierced by 302 regularly spaced loopholes and capped by a thick cut stone faced parapet. The solidly built interior spaces demonstrate a simple geometry with plain surfaces. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Redoubt is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Redoubt is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the theme of the defence of Canada from the threat of the United States between the war of 1812 and 1870, and also the theme of the development of the Canadian military from 1871-91. The School of Gunnery made use of both the Redoubt and Advanced Battery during their training. The Redoubt casemates have served as barrack accommodation, cells for enemy aliens and prisoners-of-war, a military museum and varied administration uses. The museum is associated with Ronald L. Way the Director of Restoration who led the restoration/reconstruction and who founded the Fort Henry Guard interpretative unit. The Redoubt’s construction, its subsequent economic benefits and the resulting influx of personnel had a significant impact on Kingston.

Architectural Value:
The Redoubt is a very good example of a functional 19th-century military defence design, its specialized features, construction techniques and its use of materials express its very good functional design. It exhibits very good quality work and craftsmanship. It is one of the best examples of the work of Lieutenant-Colonel Gustavas Nicolls, the military engineer also involved in notable works at the Halifax Defence Complex.

Environmental Value:
As the most important component of the Fort Henry Defence Complex, the Redoubt retains its character serving as a strong focal point within the surrounding military establishments. The Redoubt reinforces the coastal defence and military setting of Fort Henry and as a distinct and dominant feature is familiar landmark to the city and the region.

Sources: Fern Graham, Fort Henry, Kingston Ontario. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 95-051; Fort Henry, Redoubt, Kingston, Ontario. Heritage Character Statement 95-051.

Character-Defining Elements

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

Its functional military defence design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:

-the relatively low massing of the structure compared to its total size;
-the simple, plain six-sided geometric massing of the solidly built ashlar faced structure;
-the tall coursed limestone ashlar escarp walls pierced by 302 regularly spaced loopholes and capped by a thick cut stone faced parapet;
-the open arcaded gallery on the rear of the main front, a range of segmental stone arches of long span, formed with voussoirs, supported on massive stone piers;
-the two-storey casemates divided into two levels by framed floors;
-the internal spaces, the roof, a series of segmental stone vaults of long span over oblong vaulting compartments separated at each pier by transverse semi-circular arches;
-the floor of paving stones supported on shallow segmental stone arches spanning between the party walls of the casemates;
-the matching bay treatment of the casemates, consisting of a central door flanked by windows within a sunken panel with their brick-vaulted bombproof roof as viewed from the interior parade ground.

The manner in which the Redoubt reinforces the military character of Fort Henry.




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 Support

Architect / Designer

Lieutenant-Colonel Gustavas Nicolls



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 Henry National Historic Site of Canada

Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada is a 19th-century British military fortress situated on Point Henry between the mouth of Kingston harbour and a second natural harbour…


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