Prince of Wales Martello Tower

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Prince of Wales Martello Tower (1796-1866) - A British colonial Martello tower established in 1796 by His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, in present day Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Designed by Captain James Straton, Commanding, Royal Engineers. Officially named Prince of Wales Tower on 20 Oct 1798 for the Prince of Wales by his brother Prince Edward. Abandoned in 1866 when the military offered the Point Pleasant site to the city for a park.

Prince of Wales Martello Tower Marker
Prince of Wales Martello Tower Sketch From Park Sign
Prince of Wales Martello Tower

Prince of Wales Martello Tower History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Halifax.

One of five Martello Towers built for the defense of Halifax Harbor. The towers were mainly designed to provide land side protection for water facing batteries. The five Halifax Harbor Martello Towers were:

Halifax Harbor Martello Towers
Tower Built Designed by Fort Location Notes
Prince of Wales Martello Tower 1796 Capt. James Straton Point Pleasant
Duke of Clarence Martello Tower 1798 Capt. James Straton Fort Clarence Dartmouth
Duke of York Martello Tower 1798 Capt. James Straton York Redoubt
Fort Charlotte Martello Tower 1812 Capt. Gustavus Nicolls Fort Charlotte (2) George's Island
Sherbrooke Martello Tower 1814 Col. Gustavus Nicolls Magruder's Beach
on McNab's Island

The Prince of Wales Tower was built of ironstone to be 28' high, with a diameter at the base of 71' and 69' at the top. The walls varied from 6' 3" thick at the top to 8' thick at the base. The tower was two stories high with a roof level that had four Machicolation galleries. At times through the life of the tower the roof level was covered with a conical roof and at other times it was without a roof as it is today.

The first floor of the tower contained the magazine and the water & food supply and had no door to the outside. The entry door was on the second level, accessed by a pull up ladder. The second floor housed the officers and men and four 6-pounder guns. The second level had four fixed gun embrasures for defense of the tower. The roof level mounted two 24 pounder guns and six 24-pounder carronades. The roof battery could provide covering fire for Fort Ogilvie and all the Point Pleasant batteries.

The Prince of Wales Tower was decommissioned in 1866 but served as a powder storage magazine intermittently after that.

Current Status

Part of the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site of Canada in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Partially restored tower not normally open to the public but the grounds are open to visitors. Interpretive signage outside the tower but no visitor center or parks personnel available. No visible period guns or carriages. A short walk uphill from the lower parking lot on the harbor side.


Location: Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site of Canada in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.62157 Long: -63.56975

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Visited: 22 Jun 2013


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