Upon landing in Crete in 1897, European troops occupied the major towns, leaving the interior to the Christian insurgents and their Greek allies. One problem that the Powers faced in both Canea and Candia (Iraklion) was the fact that the insurgents, in the unlikely event of them ever managing to unite under able military leaders, potentially had the ability to cut off the water supplies to the towns. This necessitated that the water sources be protected.
In Canea the main spring supplying the town was guarded by the Ottoman fortress at the village now known as Perivolia – at the time the fortress was referred to as Fort Subachi (various different spellings) or Fort Butsunaria. Not only did the fort protect the spring, but it’s location, south west of Canea, meant that it blocked the route to the town that would need to be taken by the 1,500 strong Greek invasion force located at Aliakanos, should they attempt to capture Canea.
The British contribution to the force consisted of a field gun detachment landed from H.M.S.Anson.
Needless to say, while the PBI were stuck in tents, the officers had (slightly) better accommodation.
The fortress no longer exists.