FORT MACAULAY

Finally, an adventure! I have always said it is important to explore your own back yard but I did not expect to discover a Fort dating back to 1878! What was even more astonishing was finding it literally down the street from where I once lived in Esquimalt, next door to Victoria. Macaulay Park was established in 1985. I could not find anything about when what is left of the fort was opened to the public.

It was a perfect foggy late morning, fog horn echoing in the distance. The white walls of the first battery rose above, the silence of guns never fired in defense or aggression. The stillness punctuated by boys playing with, what else, toy water guns.

Discovering the various buildings, climbing the battery sites, finding the Guardhouse tunnel and walking up it were all a bit eerie as well as very interesting. A stroll in the park, a multi million dollar view, free to all, and a little history lesson.

Tunnel entrance to the ‘Keep’, the fortress high point
Pretty sure nothing could be seen through the fog. Original cloaking. Centre gun emplacement. (I hope I got that right) 1933 this was converted to crew shelters and stores.
Those held some massive guns! In 1878 there were four batteries, with 7” muzzle-loading guns. By 1895 only three emplacements, still there, with 6” breech loading guns.
I really like all the angles and curves. In 1924 the guns from the decommissioned HMCS Rainbow we’re mounted.
After the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1942 12 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns were placed at and nearby the Fort. They were never used.
Artillery Stores. This, and the Blacksmith/Fitter’s were out of sight, hidden from a ‘seaborne attack’ yet still accessible via a ring road under a ‘covered way’ (long gone). Note the ivy, or possibly a tree, imprint.
Blacksmith’s and Fitter’s Stores. Note these are brick. On the opposite were the less important soldiers shacks. Photos indicate they were made of wood. Brick is not common on the west coast.
On a clear day… This would be considered prime property, so glad it is a National Park. In 1958 the Fort was declared ‘of National Historic Importance’.