York Redoubt (1793-1956) - A British Coastal Defense redoubt established in 1793 in present day Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Officially named York Redoubt on 20 Oct 1798 for the Duke of York by his brother Prince Edward. Abandoned in 1956.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Halifax.
Originally built by British General James Ogilvie as a two gun battery to protect the entrance to Halifax Harbor. By 1800, under the command of Prince Edward, fourth son of King George III, the battery had evolved into an eight gun battery protected from land attack by the stone Duke of York Martello Tower. The tower and the battery were enclosed by a stockade and Prince Edward named the defense the York Redoubt after his brother, the Duke of York. The redoubt was armed with eight 24-pounder smoothbore cannons and had a magazine holding 50 some barrels of gunpowder.
By 1873 the redoubt had been upgraded with a surrounding masonry wall replacing the wooden stockade and caponiers providing protection for those walls. Eight Rifled Muzzle Loading (RML) gun positions were established with underground casemates to protect the ammunition. The new nine and ten inch RML guns fired new pointed armour piercing shells that weighed 256 pounds. The new guns were still muzzle loaders but were rifled for greater accuracy.
By 1900 long range breech loaded guns forced the building of batteries further away from Halifax and the York Redoubt became a second line of defense. The muzzle loaded RML guns were remounted on more modern carriages and a pair of 6-inch quick fire guns were added. A new 64-pounder battery provided greater land side defense.
During World War II the York Shore Battery was added close down on the shore line to protect the submarine net across the harbor to McNabs Island. A pair of twin 6-inch guns guarded the entrance in the new battery. Three searchlight shelters provided illumination for the guns protecting the submarine nets. A fire control station and underground plotting room were added to coordinate and direct the guns.
The York Redoubt was deactivated after the end of World War II in 1956.
Must See! York Redoubt National Historic Site, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Six of the 9-inch RML Guns remain in place with carriages. Several of the carriages are remarkably complete and well preserved. Sixteen various cabler gun tubes are located in a line on concrete supports illustrating the Redoubt's armament over the years. Interpretive signs do a great job of describing the major elements of the Redoubt but don't miss the four signs that show the development of the Redoubt from inception through World War II.
Visited: 23 Jun 2013