Contemporary Blockhouses

Blockhouse at Fort York from War of 1812

Reconstructed blockhouse at Fort York, Toronto

Researcher: Oskars Pavasars, Grade 12

Blockhouses have been constructed and used in many different places and during many different time periods. The blockhouses at Fort York in Toronto are contemporary with Fort Willow, while blockhouses continued to be used long after the War of 1812, during the Second Boer War in far away South Africa.

One of the closest historical sites to Fort Willow that shares similar historical and archaeological findings is Fort York. Historical Fort York contained two blockhouses within the Fort proper in 1812. Since then the blockhouses and the whole fort have been reconstructed. The blockhouses from 1812 were all made of wood whereas the reconstructed buildings are made of a combination of wood and brick. Outside of the fort’s wall were three other blockhouses: the Spadina Blockhouse, the Shelbourne Blockhouse, and the Yonge Blockhouse (Fort York, 2013).

Near the end of the 19th century, when the Second Boer War began in South Africa, many solid masonry blockhouses were built in South Africa by British forces to monitor territory taken from the Boer people. A total of 441 blockhouses were built during this war. All of the blockhouses were two or three stories. (Boer War, 2013)


Fort York. (2013, April 28). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Boer War. (2013, April 28). Retrieved from Wikipedia:


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