On Sept. 27, the rocky remnants of the gun base were located at a site offering “a commanding view of the river valley and harbour,” said Gilbert.
Notably, the stone structure appears to match references in archival records describing fortification improvements to protect Cupids — known then as Cuper’s Cove — from hostile forces.
A letter written on Sept. 3, 1612, by John Slany, the treasurer of the colony, explained how the upgrade of defence works would make Cupids “impregnable” against an attack “if the pirotts return” to menace settlers.
Another letter from colonist Henry Crout also highlighted the danger from “pirrats” and warned Guy that Cupids “should be made strounge” to fend off lawless sailors.
“There were no great riches in Newfoundland to attract pirates, but there were lots of skilled seamen, ships and supplies that came over every year as part of the seasonal migratory cod fishery,” Gilbert told Postmedia News.