Fort Barrancas occupies a spot overlooking Pensacola Bay first fortified by the British in 1763 and later by the Spanish in the late 1790s. In 1840 the United States remodeled a masonry water battery originally constructed by the Spanish, and rebuilt the hill top fortifications into an impressive brick fortification known as Barrancas between 1839 and 1844. Starting in 1845 the Advance Redoubt was constructed as part of Pensacola's defenses; this is the only fort designed to guard against a land-based attack of the Pensacola Navy Yard.
These fortifications were part of the United State's comprehensive "Third System" of coastal defenses.
Construction of these Third System forts began in 1816 with most being complete before the Civil War. These were large masonry forts that were to be constructed along the nation's coastline to protect important harbors, cities, interior waterways, and navy yards from seaborne attack.
Fort Barrancas, inclding the Water Battery and Advance Redoubt, are now operated by the National Park Service. The visitor center at Fort Barrancas and the fort itself is open November through February between 8:30 AM and 3:45 PM and March through October between 9:30 AM and 4:45 PM. The Advance Redoubt is open for guided tour at 11:00 AM on Saturdays. Admission is free.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network is dedicated to the protection of cultural resources, both on land and underwater, and to involving the public in the study of their past.
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