Fort McClary Caponier


Fort McClary Caponier is a fascinating abandoned and historical site in Kittery, Maine. 

The caponier can be found along the seawall of Fort McClary. This fort was officially established in 1808 as part of the second system of US fortifications. It was strategically positioned at the mouth of the Piscataqua River which allowed the harbor of Portsmouth to be protected. The harbor of Portsmouth harbor was home to the valuable Portsmouth Naval Shipyard which required extra protection from any potential invasions.

Over the years, the fort was expanded upon. Although the fort saw hardly any action during the Civil War, major additions and renovations began in 1863. This period of building was part of the third system of US fortifications. New seawalls were completed during this period and the caponier was added too. The caponier featured over a dozen rifle ports that were nearly completely invisible from the water. This caponier was a key defense feature to Fort McClary. 

The caponier remains today and it is in pretty good shape. Visitors are welcome to go inside Fort McClary Caponier when the gates are open. It is a fascinating place to walk around in and imagine how things were like centuries ago. 



  • Year Established: 1863
  • Year Abandoned: 1918
  • Original Function: Caponier with rifle ports to defend seawall 
  • NRHP Reference Number: 69000025
  • Added To NRHP: October 1, 1969


  • Park: Fort McClary State Historic Site
  • Address: Pepperrell Rd (ME-103)
  • Town: Kittery Point
  • State: Maine
  • GPS: Lat 43.0813333 Lng -70.7093889
  • Parking notes: The parking lot at Fort McClary is open from 10:00 a.m. to sunset daily from Memorial Day to Columbus Day unless otherwise posted at the gate. A small fee is charged. In the off-season, there are a few parking spots located right off ME-103 at the Fort McClarey gate. Additionally, visitors can park at the Fort McClarey Picnic Area all year round which is located across the street.
  • Parking directions: HERE
  • Location directions: HERE


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