About the Blockhouses


Artist’s sketch of a blockhouse behind a palisade.


Reconstructed blockhouse, Mansfield

Reconstructed blockhouse, St. Andrews, N.B.

Researchers: Jordan Gattrell and Oskars Pavasars, Grade 12

There are many ways to define a blockhouse but the most concise seems to be from Wikipedia. It states: “a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. It serves as a defensive strong point against any enemy that does not possess siege equipment or, in modern times, artillery.” (Blockhouse, 2013).

​There are many uses for blockhouses. It may serve as a defensive strong point or it could be merely a lookout point or a fort to store materials. This may have been the case at Fort Willow, where the blockhouse (if it existed) was used as a lookout point and for storing supplies. The reason a Blockhouse is thought to be so defensible is because the top story is slightly larger than the bottom story, and overhangs it, allowing an opening for soldiers inside to attack straight down at anyone attempting to enter the lower story of the structure.

1950s archaeologist Wilfred Jury claimed to have found two sets of very substantial building foundations during his excavations. He believed that these foundations would have supported a large, two-story structure; hence his belief that two two-story blockhouses may have been present at Fort Willow. Regrettably, recent attempts to rediscover these foundations archaeologically have failed.

References:

Blockhouse. (2013, April 28). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockhouse

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