The end of the Siege of Québec and the famous 1759 clash between Montcalm’s French Army and General Wolfe’s English forces, known as the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, brought New France under British control in 1760.
The British Regime had a significant impact on Québec City’s history, architecture, defensive system, and urban fabric. Come discover this rich history!
1. British Heritage Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
General Wolfe’s British troops camped here before the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
- The breathtaking 83-metre-high waterfall
- Wolfe’s redoubt, which dates from 1759.
- Manoir Montmorency was renamed Kent House after Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (Queen Victoria’s father), who stayed there and hosted high-society receptions between 1791 and 1794.
- The Manoir Montmorency’s permanent exhibition about the history of the falls, the house, and its inhabitants over the centuries.
2. Plains of Abraham British Heritage
Site commemorating the clashes between French and British forces in 1759-1760, as well as the British victory that changed the fate of North America.
- The breathtaking historic urban park
- Two Martello towers in the city. The British built these round stone towers in the early nineteenth century to deter potential American attacks.
- The immersive projection of the Plains of Abraham battles in 1759 and 1760.
3. British Heritage Artillery Park
Until 1871, it was the headquarters of the Royal Artillery Regiment and a strategic location for various defensive works, both French and British.
- The three historic structures are the Dauphine Redoubt (1712), the officers’ quarters (1818), and the Dominion Arsenal’s foundry (1901)
- Guides dressed in period costume portray the former residents of this historic site.
- The large scale model, built between 1806 and 1808 for the British Military, depicts the urban and military layout of Québec City at the time.
4. Fortresses of the Old City
The French built the walls and gates that surround most of the Old City for defence in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the British improved them in the 18th and 19th centuries. Québec is the continent’s only fortified city north of Mexico, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The breathtaking views from the Old City’s 4.6 km of walls
- Interpreters at the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site share their insights as they explain Québec’s defensive system.
5. British Heritage Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site
This wooden promenade, built on the site of the former Château Saint-Louis, is located at the foot of the renowned Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
- The archaeological site containing remnants of the official residence where French and British governors made decisions that shaped the history of North America for over 200 years.
6. British Heritage’s Saint Matthew’s Cemetery
Québec’s first protestant cemetery (1771).
- The urban cemetery has been transformed into a neighbourhood park.
- Gravestones of governors, military officers, fur traders, sailors, shipbuilders, and craftsmen tell the story of life in 18th and 19th century Québec City.
- The App Store offers a free iPhone historian-guided tour app.
7. The Holy Trinity Cathedral
Between 1800 and 1804, the first Anglican cathedral built outside of the British Isles was built. Designed by British Artillery officers and based on the famous London church St Martin-in-the-Fields.
- The King’s Gift: an exhibition of King George III’s magnificent silver Communion Service given to the Cathedral.
- The Royal Pew, with King George III’s Arms
- Monuments to British officers and aristocrats, including the Duke of Richmond, who hosted the famous ball prior to the Battle of Waterloo
- A very rare English chamber organ built in London in 1790.
- The beautiful stained-glass windows, many of which were handcrafted in London
8. Scottish Heritage at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
The oldest Scottish congregation in Canada (est. 1759).
- The Governor’s gallery, which was previously reserved for the Governor of Canada
- The wooden box pews in a semi-circle around the pulpit
- Official Fraser Highlanders flag reproductions
- Over a century ago, the first organ (harmonium) was used in worship.
- The 78th Fraser Highlanders historical society’s pipes and drums, which rehearse in the church every Thursday night, continue a Scottish tradition.
9. British Heritage Citadel of Québec
The Governor General of Canada’s official residence and the largest fortress built by the British in North America.
- A Canadian National Historic Site built by the British between 1820 and 1831.
- Traditional changing of the guard by the Royal 22e Régiment in scarlet tunics and bearskins, a ceremony held in only four locations worldwide: London and Windsor in the United Kingdom, as well as Ottawa and Québec City in Canada
- The Royal 22e Régiment Museum
10. The Irish Memorial National Historic Site and Grosse Île
From 1832 to 1937, the quarantine station at the Port of Québec was the main entry point for immigrants arriving in Canada.
- Reliving the experience of immigrants, primarily from Ireland, who crossed the Atlantic in search of a better future
- The cemetery and the Celtic Cross commemorate over 5000 Irish immigrants who died of Typhus on Grosse Île in 1847-1848 while fleeing their homeland’s Great Famine.
- Tours of historic structures and landmarks such as the disinfection building, Catholic and Anglican chapels, hospitals, the cemetery, and the Irish Memorial
11. Morrin Institute
From 1813 to 1867, the Morrin Centre was a “common gaol,” or prison, before being converted into Québec City’s first English-language institute of higher education on the initiative of Scottish-born local physician Dr. Joseph Morrin. It now houses the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec (founded in 1824), Canada’s oldest learned society.
- Tours of the former “Quebec City Common Gaol” cells, the Morrin College chemistry lab, and one of the world’s most beautiful Victorian-era libraries are available. Its literary treasures include books dating back to the 16th century.
- Summertime’s “teatime” activity
12. Celtic Cross Irish Ancestry
This 1997 gift from the Irish to the people of Québec City commemorates the generosity shown to the city’s Irish immigrants in the 1840s.
13. British Heritage Churchill-Roosevelt Monument
This monument honours British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s visits to the city in 1943 and 1944 for two pivotal Second World War conferences at the Citadel and the Château Frontenac.
14. Scottish Heritage Place de L’Institut-Canadien and Chaussée des Écossais
This pedestrian walkway honours the Scots’ historical contribution to the development of Québec City.
15. Wolfe’s Memorial British History
On September 13, 1759, British troops were led by James Wolfe, who was killed at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. On the spot where he died, a monument was later erected.
[…] many aspects, the city’s distinctiveness stems from the fusion of French and British architectural elements. These overlapping influences may be seen throughout Québec City and the […]
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