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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Newhaven Fort, East Sussex

Newhaven Fort was built in the 1860s to defend Newhaven harbour. It is the largest of its kind in Sussex and is now open as a popular tourist attraction. Once empty and semi-derelict, Newhaven Fort is a great example of how a fort can be restored to its former glory. The casemated soldiers' quarters have been painstakingly rebuilt and now contain a number of interesting exhibitions and visitors are free to explore the various gun emplacements and magazines. A caponnier, which is located at the bottom of the cliff, can also be accessed via a staircase from the parade ground.

For pictures of the fort's unrestored counterscarp galleries, which are not open to the public, click here.


Newhaven Fort is open to the public all year round, and well worth a visit!


View along the soldiers' quarters on the parade ground
View from the ramparts showing the entrance and officers' quarters
The casemates have been superbly restored since being bulldozed in the 70s
Passage linking the casemates
Steps down to caponnier
Tunnel at the bottom
Entrance to caponnier
Looking inside
Looking back
Centre of the caponnier
Another view inside the caponnier
End of the tunnel
Looking back to entrance
Entrance to Eastern magazines
Passage inside (note shell hoist)
Inside one of the magazines
Lighting passage around the magazine
Tunnel out to gun battery
Entrance to main magazine

Passage inside
Inside one of the magazines

The lab
Passage linking the lab to the magazines below the guns
Expense magazines
Gun mounted on the ramparts
Rear of one of the gun emplacements
Gun facing out to sea

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Spent many happy hours at the fort and in the tunnels in the 1960's & 70's before they were refurbished. Still went through the tunnels even if we forgot our torches! Knew them like the back of our hands! I remember We called them 'Ghost' 'Paintings' 'Camel'
'Bat''Dizzy' 'Twister' Could have been more but can't remember. There was a corridor that stretched along the back of the, I think, barracks (the arched fronted buildings). There was a huge amount of rubble everywhere. Moved away from the area just as the refurbishment started so don't know how it all looks now. Nobody would dream of letting their children play in those conditions now. Admittedly it was probably really really dangerous - but what fun!!

Anonymous said...

Dizzy tunnel (comes out in the middle of the cliff), ghost tunnel, beach tunnel, spunky tunnel, art gallery where the soldiers painted the walls some 100 feet below

Clive Taylor said...

Soon after the Army abandoned Coastal artillery, I as a 15 year schoolboy did my first research project on this fortification.
This would have been around 1962. The old, retired, Master Gunner gave me considerable assistance and much useful information from personal knowledge.
This was well before Cresta Marine demolished much of the upper work and sold the Eastern Battery emplacements for housing.
I photographed much of it, including the Haxo casement on the NW corner, and the Moncriefe emplacement on the NE corner, both demolished by Cresta . Cresta were also responsible for the disfiguring filling in to most of the landward ditch, which originally was truly massive.
The negatives were given to the Preservation and restoration group who took over a real mess from Cresta. Hopefully those negatives were passed to Lewes Council when they took it over .
One gem of information - under the main bride access was a single storey building of around 1939/40 in the ditch. This housed tanks of fuel to flood the harbour entrance and was to be ignited in the event of invasion. The counterscarpe galleries were then accessable from two passages. One from under the SW 10" RML emplacement, and the other from under the NW corner near what was the REME workshops . The NW passage was blocked in WWII to prevent surprise attack and a new tunnel and stairs dug from outside the fortress to regain access. Several passages were half blocked with blast walls in the same period. The SW counterscape galleries were two storey , but I think the NW were only on a single floor.