Carleton Martello Tower
Hours of Operation
- Mon. - Fri. 1:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m.
- Sat. 24 hours
- Sun. 1:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m.
- Hours subject to change
Carleton Martello Tower is a national historic site of Canada built by the British during the war of 1812-1814 for the defence of Saint John. Perched on a jagged cliff on Carleton Heights to the other side of the harbour from Saint John, New Brunswick, this defence tower is significant due to its military architecture. This defence tower is one of the nine surviving Martello towers — one of the reasons why visitors flock to this sightseeing location.
If you're planning a visit to the tower, catch the displays at the Visitor Centre and marvel at the architectural integrity of the tower's ceiling before climbing to the top of the tower. It's recommended that you drive there instead of walking since the area leading to the tower is hilly and undulating. Indulge yourself in the glorious views of Saint John, Partridge Island, Fort Dufferin, Fort Mispec, and the Bay of Fundy.
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What to Know
Perched high on a rocky cliff, Carleton Martello Tower dates back to the War of 1812, playing a pivotal role in conflicts leading up to World War II. It was used for military purposes in both world wars — mainly as a detention center for fugitives in the First World War and as a fire command post in the Second World War. The fort now offers a spectacular view of the city and harbour which tourists greatly enjoy! This historic tower is currently undergoing a major refurbishment.
Tourists are not allowed to enter the tower but they can make the most of their trip by exploring the grounds and the architectural displays in the Visitor Centre. One of the best ways to explore this historic location is by booking a scenic night tour where you can see the wonders of Saint John beyond Carleton Martello Tower like the Reversing Falls Restaurant!
How to Get There
Carleton Martello Tower is nestled at 454 Whipple St, West Saint John, New Brunswick. The surrounding area of this fort is residential and it'll take you roughly 10 minutes to reach this place from the city center. You'll have access to plenty of free parking space at the site. Some nearby spots are Fundy National Park, Fort Beauséjour, and St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site.
Best Time to Visit
Although Carleton Martello Tower is accessible year-round, it is currently undergoing major repair work. Tourists are not allowed to enter the tower but they can explore the grounds and the Visitor Centre to see the architectural beauty of this site. It is recommended that you visit this fort on a sunny day with clear and pleasant weather to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and harbour from the top of the tower — since Saint John tends to get foggy which might interfere with your sightseeing.
Explore the architectural heritage and history of this fort dating back to the war of 1812. Marvel at the round, stony structure of this tower, significant due to its coastal defence purposes. See the historic exhibits at the Visitor Centre. Climb to the top for a spectacular view of the city and the harbour!
One of the nine surviving Martello Towers in Canada, this round, stone defence tower is important due to its military significance and architectural heritage. The fort's original design represents the old English Martello tower — a design famous for its coastal defence purposes in the British Isles during the Napoleonic period. It was constructed by the British during the war of 1812 to fortify Saint John against overland invasions from the US.
The tower has been used as a detention center for runaways and as a fire command post in WWI and WWII respectively. One of the 16 projected fortifications built across Canada, this fort now features a restored powder magazine, garrisons of soldiers, and other such exhibits.
To make the most of your trip, spend half an hour exploring the grounds and the famous exhibits at the Visitor Centre. Study the architecture of the building before climbing to the top of the tower for a breathtaking view of the city and harbour.
Book a guided tour of Saint John where you'll get to explore the city's best attractions from Carleton Martello Tower to Rockwood Park. The best thing about this tour is that it's fully narrated providing historical and current insight into this sightseeing location.
Carleton Martello Tower was constructed in 1813, during the war of 1812 on a rocky cliff to guard the land approaches to the city, intended to defend against overland invasions from the United States. The tower played a pivotal role in the conflicts leading up to World War II, and now offers a spectacular view of the city and harbour.
The fort's round, conical two-storey massing is representative of the English Martello Tower — a layout famous for its coastal defence purposes in the British Isles during the Napoleonic period. The tower has been used for military motives such as the detention of deserters in WWI and the coastal-artillery defence in WWII by acting as a fire command post.