Fort Amherst was built in the 1770s to defend “The Narrows”, the entrance to St. John’s harbour. During the second World War, gun placements were installed to protect the harbour from German u-boats. The fortifications were named for Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, a British commander who played a significant role in the military history of North America.
The original lighthouse was built at Fort Amherst in 1810. The current lighthouse was built in 1951.