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A defence review during the Trent Affair, established a new line of defence for Saint John, consisting of Fort Dufferin, Partridge Island and a battery at Red Head. Like Fort Dufferin, the Red Head battery was to consist of ten gun positions and four magazines, designed to cover the southeastern channel. However, due to the configuration of the ground, there was only sufficient space for six guns and two magazines. Work at Red Head was completed until 1866. However, it was not until 1878 that four 32-pounder smooth-bore canon were mounted on the site. During World War One the battery position was used as a camp for the 9th Seige Battery and in World War Two a government radio station and a dummy gun position was located at Red Head.


45°15'8"N   66°0'57"W

In a CBC article History Professor Mark Milner says erosion has taken its toll. In .. five years, he's watched the land between the cliff and the battery reduced by a full metre. "It's entirely possible the whole fort could fall onto the beach." Milner said he wanted to document and collect samples from the site, while there was still time.The first step is clearing away decades of over-growth so Milner and his team can see what actually remains of the installation. Its brick magazine and cut stone shelters are covered with bushes and small trees. "The battery is pretty much intact. The earthworks are probably 99 per cent intact. There's a small piece at one end where the soil erosion is working into the gun positions."

Property ownership is unknown and visitors should enquire about access locally. The terrain can be rough so make sure you are capable of the hike.

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The access route is unclear but there is a large pit near the end of the Old Red Head Road that might get you there. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be any clear extension of the Battery Road into the area and other access trails aren’t apparent.


Is it worth the visit? Haven’t made it there myself, but it is on my list for a visit.

To visit __________ Visited ___________

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Source for 1,3,4,5,6 A Forgotten Military Artifact of Confederation


1. Sarty, Roger. "Saint John’s Red Head Battery: A Forgotten Military Artifact of Confederation." Canadian Military History 16.2 (2012)

2.Windsor, Lee A, and Lee Ellen Pottie. "Fighting Time: Gregg Centre and Royal Canadian Engineers Join Forces to Record New Brunswick’s Past." Canadian Military History 16.2 (2012):

3.Campbell, David et al. "CANADIAN MILITARY HISTORY."Macgregor, John. Historical and descriptive sketches of the maritime colonies of British America. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1828.

A Forgotten Military Artifact of Confederation

Red Head Battery

Saint John Harbour UNB group in race to save history