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Fort Wellington National Historic Site


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Located in Prescott, Ontario (across the river from Ogdensburg, NY), Fort Wellington is an authentic 19th century fort that takes visitors back to an earlier time when fiery conflicts with uncertain outcomes brought forth unity, bravery and perseverance, and helped define who we are as a people and as a nation.

Fort Wellington was built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route between Montreal and Kingston from possible attack by the United States. Today, costumed historical interpreters welcome and engage visitors with presentations and period demonstrations such as cooking over an open fire, rifle and cannon firings, period crafts and games and much more. Special events take place throughout the year and a new visitor center features the remains of an 1812 era gunboat raised from the bottom of the St Lawrence River.

What You'll See

Palisade & Ramparts

  • A 2.8 metre [9.2'] high wooden palisade was the first line of defence for Fort Wellington. Then attackers would have to get over the ramparts, earth and rubble piled on a 45 degree angle and covered with sod to prevent erosion, they are 18.3 metres (60′) thick at the base.

The Caponnière

  • An enemy who managed to reach the southern dry ditch would have met a volley of fire from the caponnière, joined to the fort by a passage under the ramparts.

The Fort

  • Discover the Officer’s Quarters, furnished to represent the living quarters of a Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment Officer.
  • In 1990, an archaeological excavation of the latrine uncovered several thousand artefacts belonging to the members of the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment and their families.
  • The Blockhouse is a massive stone three storey building that was a fort within the fort. Its walls are almost a metre (3′) thick. The Storage Rooms and Powder Magazine are located on the ground floor while the second and third floors were the Barracks.

Gunboat Gallery

  • Prescott was a significant naval port for gunboats used in coastal defence during of the War of 1812. On display is a 55 ft (18m) long 1812 era British Navy Gunboat that was raised from the bottom of the St. Lawrence River.


  • Cannons, muskets, and period costumed interpreters welcome visitors and bring the fort to life. Special events and interactive exhibits in the visitor centre offer unique and authentic stories from a bygone age.