Fort Henry (3)

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Fort Henry (3) (1812-1891) - A British War of 1812 fort first established in 1812 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. A new Fort Henry was started in 1832 under the supervision of Lieutenant Colonel Ross Wright and completed in 1837 by Major Richard Henry Bonnycastle. Abandoned in 1891.

Fort Henry Sallyport and Ditch
Fort Henry Armament
Fort Henry Interior Parade
Fort Henry, Looking Toward the Advanced Battery

First Fort Henry (1812-1832)

First Fort Henry Plan 1816
First Fort Henry Well

The first Fort Henry was established in July 1812 right after the start of the War of 1812 by local militia commanded by British officers. A blockhouse and battery were complete in October when American warships attempted a raid on Kingston but were driven off by the defenses. The fort was strengthened and by May 1814 it had a more classic plan that included a front facing ravelin, two demi-bastions, two redans and a rear facing demi-lune. Buildings included the 1812 blockhouse, a 50 foot square stone tower and three barracks buildings.

A second 50 foot square stone tower and a stone powder magazine were added. By 1820 the fort had added two, 2 story stone barracks and a 2 story stone officers quarters. In 1832 the construction of the new Fort Henry began and the old post began to shrink.


Second Fort Henry (1832-1891)

Fort Henry Plan 1839


Fort Henry Sallyport

The new Fort Henry was started on 18 Jun 1832 under the supervision of Lieutenant Colonel Ross Wright and was completed in 1837 by Major Richard Henry Bonnycastle. The new cut limestone fort was really a redoubt, built with six sides surrounded by a deep ditch. The outer ditch wall contained counterscarp galleries that allowed a cross fire into the ditch and two of the corners of the outer wall were rounded to protect them from shot fired down the ditch. The interior of the main fort was formed by a series of bombproof, casemated rooms with rifle loopholes looking out into the ditch.


Fort Henry Mounted 24-pounders

With the exception of the carronades mounted in the six counterscarp galleries, all of the main fort's cannons were to be mounted up on the ramparts in the following configuration:

  • North Battery - seven 24-pounders
  • Northeast Battery - six 24-pounders
  • Northwest Battery - six 24-pounders
  • East Battery - four 24-pounders, one 24-pounder carronade
  • West Battery - four 24-pounders, one 24-pounder carronade
  • South wall - none


Fort Henry Advanced Battery Plan


Mounted 32-pounder in Advanced Battery

The south wall had no armament on the ramparts because the south side was protected by an Advanced Battery south of the main fort. The Advanced Battery was completed at the same time as the main fort but not connected to the main fort until 1843. The Advanced Battery mounted nine 32-pounder cannons

The parade and double row of bombproof buildings that now connect the Advanced Battery to the main fort are known as the Commissariate Stores and Magazine.

The East Branch Tower and the West Branch Tower were constructed 1846-1848 along with the other Martello Towers in Kingston. The towers provided protection for the east and west branches of the dry ditch.

Abandoned in 1891.


Current Status

Must See! Part of Fort Henry Canadian National Historic Site, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Location: Fort Henry Canadian National Historic Site, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.230264 Long: -76.459681

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Visited: 29 Jul 2012



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