Market Battery

1846
Market BatteryPinterest
Plan of the Market Battery, 1846. Source: WO55 879 f190.
Market BatteryPinterest
Photograph of the Market Battery & Kingston City Hall in 1857 by Henry Sheldon. Source: Queen’s University Archives.
Market BatteryPinterest
Elevation drawing of the Market Battery in 1848. Source: Library & Archives Canada n0011459k.

When the Market Battery was demolished in 1872 in today’s Confederation Park on Ontario St, we lost one of the most architecturally pleasing military installations in Kingston. It temple-like buildings and arched entrance sensitively echoed the Classical elements in the new city hall (1844), which it guarded. Part of an 1846 defensive system incorporating Martello towers – the closest is Shoal Tower – it was built in response to the uncertain relationship with the United States after the Oregon Crisis. It also tells us the importance of the view from approaching ships, not just for defensive considerations, but also to emphasize this area was an elegant civic centre.