Five years after Halifax was established in 1749, the Eastern Battery was built on a slight promontory in Dartmouth overlooking George’s Island. Its role was to defend the eastern side of the harbor.
In the 1790s Prince Edward, the British Commander directed the fortification be upgraded to include a 3-stoey Martello tower that could house 164 gunners and named Fort Clarence in honor of his brother the Duke of Clarence (future King William 1V). During the 1800s with advances in military technology and weapons the fort was rebuilt with 9-inch rifled muzzled-loading cannons; later 64-pounder Moncrieff guns mounted on carriages were installed. In 1906 when Imperial forces departed Halifax the fort’s strength was reduced to a corporal and two gunners on duty. The fort was used to store ammunition until the property was sold to Imperial Oil in 1927 and construction of a refinery on the site.