Fort Prince of Wales National Historic Site

sights / Historic

Fort Prince of Wales National Historic Site information

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Parks Canada administers three sites in the area documenting Churchill's varied history. Transportation to the sites across the water is handled by licensed tour operators and the entry fee is included in tour costs.

It took 40 years to build and its cannons have never fired a shot, but the star-shaped stone Fort Prince of Wales has been standing prominently on rocky Eskimo Point across the Churchill River since the 1770s. As English-French tensions mounted in the 1720s, HBC selected the site for presence and strategy, but surrendered during the first French attack in 1782, making it an Anglo Maginot Line forerunner. It's a boggy, buggy place with sweeping views and a real sense that duty here was best avoided.

Four kilometers south of the fort, Sloop's Cove was a harbor for European vessels during Churchill's harsh winters. The only indications of early explorers are simple yet profound: names such as Samuel Hearne, local 18th-century governor and first to make an overland trip to the Arctic Ocean, are carved into the seaside rocks.

Cape Merry , at the national historic site, has a lone cannon and crumbling walls but the location astounds with vistas across the bay and river. In season, those aren't whitecaps, they're belugas. The site is an easy and pretty 2km-walk northwest of town; get bear advice before setting out.