Rodd Hill, a coast artillery fort overlooking the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour
in Victoria, was built by the British in the late 1890s to protect Victoria and
the Royal Naval base in Esquimalt.
From 1878 until 1956, a system of artillery
positions guarded the city of Victoria and Esquimalt Harbour. Originally a link
in the worldwide chain of defences for the British Empire, this system evolved
into a watchdog for Canada's security and sovereignty of our Pacific west coast.
The "Victoria-Esquimalt Fortress" grew and changed over time to deal
with new threats and technologies. Fort Rodd Hill represents all of the defensive
locations of the Victoria-Esquimalt Fortress, and is one of the best preserved
and most complete examples of its kind, consisting entirely of original structures,
with minimal restoration.
Stroll along the ramparts of three coastal gun batteries
built a century ago. Look down the barrels of original guns, explore underground
magazines and discover camouflaged searchlight emplacements. Continue through
the picturesque grounds to view the original Command posts, guardhouses and troop
There are numerous
interpretive signs and audio-visual stations, as well as period-furnished rooms.
As you walk along the trails, look for some of the year-round residents who call
Fort Rodd Hill home, including Colombian Black-tailed deer, grey squirrels, raccoons
and numerous bird species.
The Lower Battery
The large grounds also boast the Fisgard Lighthouse,
the first permanent lighthouse on Canada's west coast, which has been in continuous
use since 1860.
is a pleasant walk from the field to the lighthouse, but rather than following
the direct route, you can take the nature path, near the picnic tables, for a
10-minute stroll through a forest, with many sights and bird sounds along the
way. The gravel walkway to the lighthouse was built over a torpedo net meant to
intercept torpedoes fired at the naval base.
The Belmont Battery
The former keeper's
house now contains exhibits, artifacts and display panels. The waters around Fisgard
Lighthouse are frequented by harbour seals and the occasional sea lion.
Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse are 14 km from downtown Victoria.
These two adjoining National Historic Sites can be accessed off Highway 1, by
taking the Colwood exit, or off Highway
1A, onto Ocean Boulevard in Colwood.
note that pets and bicycles are not allowed in the sites.
February 15 - October 31: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
1 - February 14: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
603 Fort Rodd Hill Road
BC V9C 2W8
Fax: (250) 478-2816