Friday, September 17, 2010

A day trip to Fort Lennox

On the Labour Day weekend, we went to visit our friends in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, and the four of us drove out to historic Fort Lennox. This fort, constructed from 1819 - 1829, sits on a small island call Ile aux Noix in the middle of the Richelieu River, about an hour away from Montreal. The Google Maps satellite photo is cool!

View Larger Map

It was a pleasant ferry ride over to the island. Gordon is holding my hand so I don't make bunny ears behind his head!

The island is surrounded by a moat, with a bridge across it to the fort. The fort was built to protect against potential American invaders (ah, but you Americans lost the war of 1812, didn't you?)

The fort was names after Charles Lennox, the 4th Duke of Richmond.

If you look carefully, you'll see cliff swallow nests just over the word "Lennox." Their nests are all over the site.

I think this is the guardhouse. I did the tour in French and I'm damned if I can remember what was what in English!

The barracks.

The Commissariat Store. I think.

Can you spot the cliff swallow nests?

Inside the soldiers' barracks.

An original painted sign on a barracks door. (Uh, no, the no-smoking sign is not historic!)

One of the re-enactors, who was hugely amusing!

A robin's nest on a lintel over a stone spiral staircase.

Arched entranceway looking out onto the parade square.

And an officer's room, which was quite a bit swishier than the enlisted men's barracks:

Don't ask me what part of the fort this is! I can hardly remember my phone number anymore...

I think this might have been a kitchen!

Uh... the ordinance store... maybe?

I know what this one is: the MOAT!

We had a great visit. The site is beautifully restored (and very intact from the original) and well worth visiting if you are anywhere near Montreal! And afterwards you can go find some beautiful raw milk Quebec cheese in one of the local fromageries!

Driving home through Montreal, we saw a pretty rainbow:

...which became a double rainbow over a rusty bridge. All the bridges and roads in Quebec scare the hell out of me. In a year of living there, we did $2000 worth of damage to the suspension of our car, due mostly to potholes. It's still a great place to visit, but I don't recommend lingering under overpasses or on or under bridges! Maybe take a rental car. Or a tank!


  1. I want to live somewhere surrounded by a moat! Nice place - I'll definitely have to add it to my list of places to visit

  2. Yes, the bridges are scary! And the Fort looks cold and dreary. But it also looks like a very solid and safe place to be, except I wouldn't have wanted to be a common soldier. The officers digs look pretty nice. Must have been a fun trip. Thanks for the comments on my blog. I'm trying to catch up. :)

  3. Can you imagine how freezing it must have been in the winter. Laughed when I saw the no-smoking sign - growing up in Quebec, everyone smoked all the time. Glad you got out with all the wheels on the car & no tickets on the windshield - our Ontario plate seemed to be a magnet to the local police. My father-in-law misssed being smooshed by a bridge by an hour - there's a reason the Quebecois drive the way they do.

  4. A century ago (when I was 18), I spent two weeks at l'Ile-aux-Noix, camping with the girl guides. It was lovely. Never dreamed I would see the place again on a strange and marvellous invention which brings everything back to life with so much realism. The moat hasn't changed one bit. I can still feel the water on my toes. Brrrrr.....

  5. Wanderingcat, if you're in Montreal it's worth a visit, and there are lots of good cheese places and such in the surrounding countryside. A very pretty area.

    Callie, I'm with you. I'd take the officers' digs.

    Barbara, I cannot. Absolutely frigid, I'm sure. I'm happy we got out without any near-death traffic experiences in Montreal, like we usually have. :) That's pretty scary about your FIL. Glad he missed the collapse!

  6. Claude, I do wish you'd write a book. Your stories are more fabulous than you know. Gordon was amazed you camped there for TWO WEEKS!!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!