Kingston – Fort Frederick

Photo of Fort Frederick
Fort Frederick, with Royal Military College in background

Fort Frederick was intended to be the most heavily defended of Kingston’s Martello towers. The top level held three 32 pounder guns, each with a range of about 1800 meters. Although construction of the tower was finished in 1847, advances in military technology rendered the fort obsolete within a few years.

Photo of Fort Frederick
One of three cannons on the top level of Fort Frederick.

The original design of the tower at Cape Mortella did not include a roof. However, weather conditions in Canada made a roof necessary. The roof was originally designed with a number of triangular panels. By pulling on one metal rod, all the roof panels would fall away exposing the cannons. But while the fort was in operation, this was never actually necessary.

Photo of Fort Frederick
One of the cannons on the ramparts surrounding the tower.

Today, Fort Frederick is home to the Royal Military College Museum. The tower consists of four levels. The top level, of course, is where you find the three big cannons. The next level down contains a collection of guns. The main level is where you enter the museum and contains artifacts relating to RMC. These two levels originally housed soldiers. The bottom level is where supplies were stored. You can still visit three of the four bastions.

View of Kingston
View across the harbor towards downtown Kingston.