Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sloop Cove (Churchill)

Sloop Cove was identified as nationally significant because of the inscriptions left there by the men who lived at the Fort and worked with the boats used by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Among the signatures inscribed on stone at Sloop Cove is that of explorer Samuel Hearne.

Sloop Cove is a sheltered nook situated 3.2 kilometers from Prince of Wales Fort on the west side of the Churchill River. Sloops were wooden sailing vessels used during the fur trade for exploration, whaling expeditions and northern trading attempts with the Inuit. During the 1700s, there was three meters of water in the cove at high tide, so it was an ideal wintering and mooring spot for them. Iron rings, which were driven into the rocks by the Hudson’s Bay Company men to secure the sloops, are still visible today although they are now far above the tidal limit due to rebound of the surrounding landscape after the retreat of the glaciers.

In 1933, the site was added to the Prince of Wales National Historic Site, designated in 1920 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Sloop Cove

Sloop Cove (July 2016)
Source: Jennifer Lidgett

Etched signature of explorer Samuel Hearne in Sloop Cove

Etched signature of explorer Samuel Hearne in Sloop Cove (July 2016)
Source: Jennifer Lidgett

Iron ring in Sloop Cove used to anchor ships

Iron ring in Sloop Cove used to anchor ships (July 2016)
Source: Leela Braun

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N58.77300, W94.22980
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Samuel Hearne by George B. Mainwaring
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 11, Number 3, Spring 1966

Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site of Canada, Parks Canada

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Prince of Wales Fort (Churchill)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Plaques for Persons, Events and Sites of National Historic Significance


We thank Jennifer Lidgett and Leela Braun for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Tim Worth.

Page revised: 16 October 2019

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