Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Signal Hill, Newfoundland and Labrador

Signal Hill, Newfoundland and Labrador

Overview


Signal Hill is a hill which overlooks the city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is the oldest English-founded city in North America. It is located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. With a population of 192,326 as of July 1, 2010, the St...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

Due to its strategic placement overlooking the harbour, fortifications have been placed on the hill since the mid 17th century.


The final battle of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 in North America was fought in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill
Battle of Signal Hill
The Battle of Signal Hill was a small skirmish, the last of the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War. The British under Lieutenant Colonel William Amherst forced the French to surrender St...

, in which the French surrendered St. John's to the British under the command of Lt. Colonel William Amherst.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Signal Hill, Newfoundland and Labrador'
Start a new discussion about 'Signal Hill, Newfoundland and Labrador'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia


Signal Hill is a hill which overlooks the city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is the oldest English-founded city in North America. It is located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. With a population of 192,326 as of July 1, 2010, the St...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

Due to its strategic placement overlooking the harbour, fortifications have been placed on the hill since the mid 17th century.

History



The final battle of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 in North America was fought in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill
Battle of Signal Hill
The Battle of Signal Hill was a small skirmish, the last of the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War. The British under Lieutenant Colonel William Amherst forced the French to surrender St...

, in which the French surrendered St. John's to the British under the command of Lt. Colonel William Amherst. Lt. Colonel Amherst renamed what was then known as "The Lookout" as "Signal Hill," because of the signalling that took place upon its summit from its flagmast. Flag communication between land and sea would take place there from the 17th century until 1960.

During Signal Hill's first construction period in the late 18th century, Signal Hill was designated as the citadel for St. John's. Other Canadian citadels include Citadel Hill in Halifax
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...

, Fort Henry
Fort Henry, Ontario
Fort Henry is located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on Point Henry, a strategic point located near the mouth of the Cataraqui River where it flows into the St. Lawrence River, at the upper end of the Thousand Islands...

 in Kingston
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

 and Citadelle
Citadelle of Quebec
The Citadelle — the French name is used both in English and French — is a military installation and official residence located atop Cap Diamant, adjoining the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada...

 in Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

.

During the 19th century, Signal Hill was manned specifically during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 and the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. A second construction period in Signal Hill's history saw the construction of the Queen's Battery Barracks, which has been completely restored to the period of 1862.


Construction on Cabot Tower
Cabot Tower (Newfoundland)
Cabot Tower is a tower in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, situated on Signal Hill. Construction of tower begun in 1898 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland, and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee....

 began in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot
John Cabot
John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer whose 1497 discovery of parts of North America is commonly held to have been the first European encounter with the continent of North America since the Norse Vikings in the eleventh century...

's landfall in 1497. The building was declared officially open in 1900. The practical uses of the building were flag mast signalling, and a Marconi
Marconi Company
The Marconi Company Ltd. was founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company...

 wireless station which has since been moved to St. John's International Airport
St. John's International Airport
St. John's International Airport is an international airport located northwest of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada that serves the St. John's Metro Area and the Avalon Peninsula. The airport is part of the National Airports System, and is operated by St...

.


On 12 December 1901, the first transatlantic wireless
Wireless
Wireless telecommunications is the transfer of information between two or more points that are not physically connected. Distances can be short, such as a few meters for television remote control, or as far as thousands or even millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications...

 transmission was received here by Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 in an abandoned fever and Diphtheria
Diphtheria
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a facultative anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium. It is characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity...

 hospital, which has since been destroyed by fire. The transmission, in Morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

, originated from his Poldhu Wireless Station
Poldhu
Poldhu is a small area in south Cornwall, England, UK, situated on the Lizard Peninsula; it comprises Poldhu Point and Poldhu Cove. It lies on the coast west of Goonhilly Downs, with Mullion to the south and Porthleven to the north...

, Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, UK.

The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 maintained anti-aircraft guns on the hill during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.


Signal Hill National Historic Site


Today, Signal Hill is a Canadian National Historic Site

Due to high winds in winter (which can reach up to 110 km/h (68 miles per hour), it is generally preferred to visit Signal Hill in the warmer months of the year.

Activities


Cabot Tower
Cabot Tower (Newfoundland)
Cabot Tower is a tower in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, situated on Signal Hill. Construction of tower begun in 1898 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland, and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee....

, located at the top of the hill, features exhibits about Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 and the wireless station that operated in the tower. There is a gift shop, and an amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

 station VO1AA, which may be operated by visiting amateur radio operators in the summer months. It is sponsored by the Society Of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs. There is also an active amateur radio repeater
Radio repeater
A radio repeater is a combination of a radio receiver and a radio transmitter that receives a weak or low-level signal and retransmits it at a higher level or higher power, so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation. This article refers to professional, commercial, and...

, VO1AAA 146.790+, which is located inside the building and can be used year round.

The visitor centre features interactive exhibits and a film about the site's military and communications history, and the history of St. John's.

The North Head Trail grants an impressive view of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and the surrounding coast. The Lookout Trail features interpretive panels about the site's history.

Signal Hill Tattoo



The Signal Hill Tattoo
Military tattoo
The original meaning of military tattoo is a military drum performance, but nowadays it sometimes means army displays more generally.It dates from the 17th century when the British Army was fighting in the Low Countries...

 showcases the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Foot. Wearing full military uniforms circa 1795, the soldiers give a military concert by the Regimental fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

s and drums, and demonstrate the musket
Musket
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer....

, drills, and battle formations of the time. The Artillery provide an exhibition of cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 fire. The ceremony occurs on specific days in the summer.

Other features


Some distance down the hill is located the Johnson Geo Centre
Johnson Geo Centre
The Johnson Geo Centre is a geological interpretation centre located on Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland. Most of the centre is located underground, in an excavated glacial formation that shows the exposed bedrock of the hill...

, a geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 museum.

A tourist information radio station, CJSH-FM
CJSH-FM
CJSH-FM is a tourist information radio station that operates at 90.9 FM in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, at a power of 1 watt....

, broadcasts from the Signal Hill site.

External links