Jeff Turner, one of the founding members of the Archaeological Land Trust of Nova Scotia, in the ruins of a fi ve-sided building in Bayers Lake Business Park.
The mysterious ruins in Bayers Lake Park pose many unanswered questions for archaeologists.But the remains of a small five-sided building and a 150-metre wall, both made withfl at-surfaced ironstone rocks, are clearly a militaryinstallation of some sort, says ArchaeologicalLand Trust of Nova Scotia member, Jeff Turner.“You can see some parts of the wall have gunemplacements, where they would have rolled acanon up into a notch in the wall,” he says.The mystery of it, says Turner, is that we haveno idea when it was built, who built it or whythey built it.“The thing about Halifax is that its militaryhistory is really, really well documented. All themilitary fortifi cations are accounted for. But forthis, there are no records, there’s no mention of itany place, not that we’ve found yet. So, who builtit? Why was it built? When was it built? They’rekind of the mystery walls.”Turner says the ruins lie on land that belongsto Halifax Regional Municipality.“My understanding is they started to do somedevelopmental work for these various propertiesand started to punch a road in. The land surveyorsstumbled across this ruin and stone walls.Fairly quickly, any construction that was going tobe done here was stopped.”Archaeologists did a bit of survey work here,but nothing conclusive was determined and therecontinue to be different opinions about the historyof the fortifi cation.“It was likely built after the founding ofContinued on page 13 Continued from page 11Halifax in 1749,” Turner says, “so any time fromthe late 18th century to the early 19th century.Some think it might have been a military practicesite built before they went to the Battle ofLouisbourg because they knew they were goingto have to lay siege to a fortress. They may havecome here and practiced to get ready for it.”However, there’s no record of that beingthe case.Another thought is perhaps it was built as atemporary fortifi cation to protect the backside ofthe city during a war.“This is a travel route,” Turner says, pointingdown from the hilltop ruins towards theNorthwest Arm and the chain of lakes thatconnect to it.Some even believe Scottish explorer LordSinclair built here when he arrived in the NewWorld in 1390. But, as Turner points out,why would he build walls for canons? It isn’tlikely his work. Nor is it apt to be the workof an advanced pre-Columbian civilization,as some think.Turner says artifacts found in the area provethis was most likely built in the 18th or 19thcentury.The 150-metre wall wraps around the Bayers Lakehillside and features gun emplacements. BY MELANIE FURLONG