Victoria Park in located along the waterfront of Charlottetown, the capital city of Prince Edward Island. It is home to the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, was an important colony under New France and eventually was occupied by the British who established the city and maintained defensive facilities along this shorefront. Today, Victoria Park is a delightful recreational area that features a variety of sports fields, an extensive and well-maintained board walk along the water front, as well as historical displays; one of which is the Prince Edward Battery featured here.
The property containing Victoria Park was established in 1789 by Governor Edmund Fanning as a 100-acre (40 ha) parcel for the use of the colonial administrator for St. John’s Island (renamed Prince Edward Island in 1799). This property located immediately west of Charlottetown’s original “500 lots” was roughly eight times larger than the thirty-six 12-acre (4.9 ha) “estates” established in the northern part of the Queens Royalty. It was envisioned that the property would be used to provide farmland for the governor and a site for an official residence.
Prior to the War of 1812, the Prince Edward Battery established a fortification along the shore of the property facing the main shipping channel into Charlottetown Harbour. This battery was manned by British Army regulars, as well as colonial militia until the mid-19th century. (Wikipedia)
Originally known as Tartar’s Wharf Battery and located at the foot of Great George Street. This battery was renamed Prince Edward Battery in 1799 and moved to a new battery site on Governor’s Point in 1805. Originally armed with four 12-pounder cannons it was upgraded to four 18-pounders by the start of the War of 1812 and the site included a stockade and gunner’s quarters. The battery was abandoned in 1855 when the guns were removed.
The battery was reactivated in 1865 in response to the Irish Fenian threat with three 9-pounder guns and a new masonry powder magazine. In 1866, three naval 32-pounder guns with ship style wooden carriages were added.
By 1883 the battery was described as “entirely useless” and it was rebuilt in the 1880s and 1890s with new gun platforms and renovated powder magazine. In the early 1900s the guns were upgraded to the already outdated 64-pounder RML guns. The battery was deactivated circa 1905.
Currently nine period guns six of which are on period mounts are in place. Three 9-pounder cannons are mounted on iron garrison carriages while three 32-pounder smooth bore guns are mounted on wood shipboard type carriages. Three 60/32-pounder RML guns are displayed on hemlock cribbing. The 1867 magazine has been restored. (Fortwiki)
Victoria Park is easily located along the waterfront and is near other interesting trails and tourist locations. It can be accessed by vehicle but it has a one-way entrance from the North River side. There are lots of one-way streets which sometimes make navigating an interesting challenge. But generally speaking parking is easy in or adjacent to Victoria Park.
Is it worth a visit. Absolutely. Taken together with the many, many PEI tourist attractions, this Island is a must. For those who are interested in history and military facilities, be sure to visit The Prince Edward Battery.