Military Wiki
Fort Anne
View of Annapolis Basin from Fort Anne
Established 1629
Location Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada

National Historic Site of Canada
Official name Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada
Designated 1920

For a similarly named fort in New York City see: Fort Amsterdam

Fort Anne is a typical star fort built to protect the harbour of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. The fort repelled all French attacks during the early stages of King George's War.

Now designated a National Historic Site of Canada, it is managed by Parks Canada. The 1797 officer's quarters was renovated in the 1930s and now house the museum with exhibits about the fort's history and historic artifacts from the area.

A 1/2 km trail runs along the fort's earthen walls, and provides a view of the Annapolis River and basin.


The site has been fortified since 1629, when the Scots came to colonize Nova Scotia (New Scotland) and built Charles Fort. The region was reverted to French control in the 1630s and Charles de Menou d'Aulnay began work on the first of four forts on the same site, then known as Port Royal. In 1702, the French began construction of the current Vauban earthwork that is found there today.

Queen Anne's War

During Queen Anne's War, the fort fell to British and New England troops after a week-long siege in 1710 which marked the British conquest of Acadia. A British governor and garrison replaced the French at the fort renaming the Port Royal settlement Annapolis Royal after Queen Anne. With the Treaty of Utrecht three years later, the British gained full control of mainland Nova Scotia and kept Annapolis Royal as the capital until the founding of Halifax in 1749.

King Georges War

During King George's War, the French launched three expeditions against the capital to regain the fort with no success, the most famous being the Duc d'Anville Expedition.

Father Le Loutre's War

During Father Le Loutre's War, the capital of Acadia was moved from Annapolis Royal to Halifax. Fort Edward, Fort Lawrence and Fort Anne were all supplied by and dependent on the arrival of Captains Cobb, Rogers or Taggart, in one of the government sloops. These vessels took the annual or semi-annual relief to their destination. They carried the officers and their families to and fro, as required.[1]

Captain John Hamilton was a son of Major Otho Hamilton of the 4Oth Regiment, of the Hamiltons of Olivestob, East Lothian, Scotland. Captain Hamilton had some time before been made a prisoner by the Indians and taken to Quebec, but had lately been ransomed. On 15 August 1752, John Handfield, Esq., widower, married Miss Mary Handfield, spinster.

French and Indian War

During the French and Indian War, the British engaged in the Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755) and deported the Acadians living in the area. With the fall of Quebec in 1759, the fort no longer held the same military importance.

It was however still used as an outpost during the American Revolution, where the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants) was stationed, and the War of 1812 in defence of the town from American privateers.

The fort acquired the name Fort Anne in the 19th century.

National Historic Site

Model of Fort Anne

In 1917, Fort Anne was acquired by the Dominion Parks Branch, the predecessor organization to Parks Canada, and was designated as Canada's second "National Historic Park" (Fort Howe in Saint John, New Brunswick was the first).[2] Two years later, a new national program of National Historic Sites of Canada was established in 1919 to replace the incipient system of historic parks, and Fort Anne was designated a National Historic Site in 1920.[3]

Although Fort Anne was neither the first National Historic Park (Fort Howe was designated three years earlier), nor was it the first site designated under the replacement National Historic Site program, it is nonetheless sometimes referred to as Canada's "first national historic site" or the "first administered national historic site", because it was the first site acquired by the federal government for national historic purposes that has subsequently remained under Parks Canada administration (Fort Howe was eventually conveyed to the municipality).[4]


On 28 June 1985 Canada Post issued 'Fort Anne, N.S., circa 1763.' one of the 20 stamps in the “Forts Across Canada Series” (1983 & 1985). The stamps are perforated 12½ x 13 and were printed by Ashton-Potter Limited based on the designs by Rolf P. Harder.[5]

See also


  1. Beamish Murdoch. a History of Nova Scotia Vol 2, p. 232.
  2. Taylor, C.J. (1990). Negotiating the Past: The Making of Canada's National Historic Parks and Sites. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press. 28-9. ISBN 0-7735-0713-2. 
  3. Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  4. "Canada’s Oldest National Historic Site". Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada. Parks Canada. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  5. Canada Post issued 'Fort Anne, N.S., circa 1763.'

Further reading

  • Brenda Dunn, A History of Port Royal/Annapolis Royal: 1605-1800, Halifax: Nimbus, 2004
  • Parks Canada, Fort Anne National Historic Site brochure, undated (2001 ?).

External links

Coordinates: 44°44′28.05″N 65°31′7.88″W / 44.741125°N 65.5188556°W / 44.741125; -65.5188556

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).