Following the American Civil War, the British became concerned that the victorious Union would take revenge for their support of the Confederacy. To protect the Royal Naval Dockyard against a possible land attack the British Army’s Royal Engineers began construction of Fort Scaur in the late 1860’s.
It was a huge project involving the excavation of a dry moat cutting right across Somerset Island from Ely’s Harbour to the Great Sound. Ramparts were constructed on the northern side of the ditch, creating a killing zone below. The fort was protected by two 64 pound guns mounted on disappearing carriages that recoiled for reloading after they had been fired. One of the guns is still here.