Royal Artillery Park
The postcard image above will be recognizable to anyone familiar with Halifax. With a cancellation stamp dated 31 July, 1937, the image dates from shortly before the Second World War. The Lord Nelson Hotel, shown in the lower left, was constructed in 1927, setting an earliest date for the image.
In the centre, middle ground, of the image can be seen Royal Artillery (RA) Park, a long standing defence establishment abuting the glacis slope of the Citadel and still occupied today by the Department of National Defence.
RA park today; Google maps image.
From The Evolution of the Halifax Fortress, 1749-1928 (Harry Peters, 1947), we can find some remarks on the evolution of RA Park:
The row of two barracks in Artillery Park was extended in 1812 by the building of a 1 ½-storey quarters for two captain and two subalterns of the Artillery. The western end of the park was enlarged in 1812 by shifting the location of whet is now Queen's Street, so that the street became curved for a distance of 310' between Artillery Place and Sackville Street. The land was obtained from J.G. Pyke for £823 by a jury award of 20 April, 1812, and the alteration of the highway was authorized by an act of the Assembly. This gave room for the erection between 1811 and the early summer of 1816 of the 110'-long, 1 ½-storey [Royal Artillery] Officers' Quarters and Mess Room.
A closer look at RA Park as shown in the c.1930 postcard above.
Peters also notes the result of "Inspectional Reports" for 1 July 1814, 31 July 1815 and 1 January 1816 which described:
This completes an east-west row of four buildings:
(a) RA Commanding Officers' Quarters (1804-8)
(b) Enlisted Mens' Barracks (1803-4)
(c) Officers' Quarters (1812)
(d) Officers' Quarters and Mess Room (1814-16)
Cambridge Library, on Queen Street, RA Park, was begun on 3 November 1885, the estimate cost having been £1,350.Besides the Library, the Park also gained a fine building for Artillery and Engineer Officers Quarters, erected between 8 May, 1901, and 26 March, 1903 at a cost of £7,105, and to the east, on what had been the Royal Engineers' Square, arose the long Brick Block (C) of the South Barracks(quarters for both single and married soldiers), built between 15 July, 1904, and 30 April, 1905, at a cost of £6,928.
Accompanying footnotes added:
Until 1929, this building (Artillery and Engineer Officers Quarters) served as District Headquarters. To make room for its north end, about two-thirds of the eastern part of the old wooden Officers' Quarters between the Mess and the Soldiers' Barracks had been demolished.
[Brick Block (C)'s] construction necessitated the removal of the former R.E. Officers' Quarters and of the ancient, diagonally placed, small wooden structure south of there which had once been the quarters of the Commandants of the Artillery and of Engineer.
A footnote on the last page of the text of Peters' work gives us one more glimpse of RA park:
Artillery Park (RA Park). In the autumn of 1946 the old red frame buildings (presumably those noted by Mr. Piers as built during the period 1800-15), having become completely unserviceable, were demolished, to the vast improvement of the appearance of the Park.