The House on Kodlunarn


What has in recent times been called the "Frobisher House", although originally christened "Fenton's Watchtower", is one of the main archaeological features visible on Kodlunarn Island.

Situated at the highest point of the island, it is now a shallow, irregular pit surrounded by large, scattered boulders. The dimensions of the house taken from the exterior of the foundation are 3.6 m by 4.3 m (12 feet by 14 feet). The north, east, and west walls are 0.6 m (2 feet) thick. The south wall may be thicker. At the south end of the west wall is what may be a door 0.75 m (30 inches) wide. The entire structure is oriented roughly east and west.

The foundation, relatively well preserved, in some areas stands more than 30 cm high. Some of the rocks in the foundation and scattered around the structure have been shaped slightly, probably with mining tools. Lime mortar was used between the rocks, while small stones and rubble filled in any chinks.

Based on careful measurement of the rock scattered about the foundation, it is believed that the masonry walls may have been 0.9 to 1.1 m (3 to 3½ feet) high. This suggests that the upper portion of the walls may have been built from wood. Captain Fenton, who oversaw the construction of the house, noted in his journal that the roof was completed with boards.

The timber, along with the various trinkets and other items left behind in the house, were subsequently salvaged by the Inuit.