Fort Rodd Hill, Victoria
Step inside a real working lighthouse - Canada's oldest west coast lighthouse - where colourful displays tell of ships wrecked and lives saved. Stroll along the ramparts of three coastal gun batteries built over a century ago. Look down the barrels of original guns, explore underground bunkers, and discover camouflaged searchlight emplacements!
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse is a national historic site of Canada. This beautiful park is on the most gorgeous piece of property with an open field and on a gorgeous west coast beach. The setting itself is worth the visit but the historic sites are great too. You can check out many historical displays, go in a lighthouse, explore underground magazines, enter old barracks, check out old guns, etc.
This site is 15 km from downtown Victoria. Open all year. Check out the website www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fortroddhill for details about hours and costs.
From 1878 until 1956, a system of artillery positions guarded Victoria and Esquimalt harbour. Originally a link in the worldwide chain of defences for the British Empire, this system evolved into a watchdog for Canada's security and sovereignty of our west coast.
Like Canada's east coast defences in Halifax, the "Victoria-Esquimalt Fortress" grew and changed over time to deal with new threats and new technologies.
Fort Rodd Hill NHSC represents the national importance of these messages.
When you first arrive, at Fort Rodd Hill, you will enter #1. the Upper Battery, which was built from 1895-97, and represents the British period of the V-E Fortress (1893-1906)
The single 6" disappearing gun here was identical with two in Lower Battery and three others at Macaulay Point, east of Esquimalt harbour. The new forts at Rodd Hill and Macaulay replaced the "temporary" muzzle-loading gun batteries of 1878.
As the westerly anchor of the defences of this period, Fort Rodd Hill's relativelly isolated location meant that any land assault would have to be held off until infantry forces arrived from Esquimalt's Work Point Barracks. Several features of the Fort's construction reflect this self-defence function. Fort Rodd Hill represents all the defensive locations of theV-E Fortress, and was only one of a system of forts and related works. Fort Rodd Hill is one of the world's best-preserved - and most complete - examples of its kind, consisting entirely of original structures, with minimal restoration.
When you arrive and pay the admission price, you'll receive a page which has a map of the site on one side, and a suggested walking tour with numbers pointing out the name and uses of particular structures, on the other. It's quite informative and you'll learn a thing or two about Canadian Military history.
Fisgard Lighthouse commemorates the national significance of the first lighthouse on Canada's west coast. It was built in 1860 as the first permanent lighthouse on Canada's west coast. The former keeper's house now contains exhibits and a video station. Of particular interest is information on the shipwrecks that gave this coastline its moniker "the graveyard of the Pacific." Also on this site is Fort Rodd Hill which is a preserved 1890s coastal artillery fort. Other objects of interest such as anti-aircraft guns, different artillery pieces, and a jeep among other thing. The $4 for both the fort and the lighthouse is completely worth it for the view of the sea, the mountains, and Esquimalt Harbour.
Fort Rodd Hill is a preserved 1890s coastal artillery fort that still sports camouflaged searchlights, underground magazines, bunkers, and coastal artillery positions. There are numerous interpretive signs and audio-visual stations, as well as period furnished rooms. Also on this site is the Fisgard Lighthouse that was built in 1860 as the first permanent lighthouse on Canada's west coast. Other objects of interest such as anti-aircraft guns, different artillery pieces, and a jeep among other thing. The $4 for both the fort and the lighthouse is completely worth it for the view of the sea, the mountains, and Esquimalt Harbour.
This fort, which includes bunkers, coastal artillery positions, and the like, provides a good amount of information on the British, and then Canadian, defences of Victoria, for a long time the primary British/Canadian military and naval base on the West Coast of North America. Remains and displays cover the late 1800s through WWII.
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse - National Historic Sites of Canada. We went to Fort Rodd Hill to enjoy a vintage British car show and I discovered some of the interesting military heritage of this area of Vancouver Island.
You must spend a few hours if you have a car and go to Colwood/Langford and see Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse and the lagoon.
The Fort is a nice time spent on those scenic historic sites. A bit of military and non-military history, in a wonderful setting, great idea for a pic-nic then a walk by the lagoon, only 2 minutes drive from there.