Friday, August 08, 2008

Fort Nelson, Portsmouth

Fort Nelson was built in the 1860s on Portsdown Hill above Portsmouth. It is a classic example of one of 'Palmerston's Follies', a group of forts which were recommended by the Royal Commission of 1859, and promoted by Lord Palmerston. Fort Nelson is situated to the West of Fort Southwick, and forms part of a line along Portsdown Hill with forts Widley and Purbrook. The fort is polygonal in shape, with a Redan to the South and a double caponnier to the North. Two demi caponniers protect the East and West ditches of the fort. The fort was mounted with 10 7-inch Rifled Breech Loading guns and 6 Rifled Muzzle Loaders; it was also later used as an Anti Aircraft site during WW2.

The fort has been restored and is open to the public as the Royal Armouries Museum

Plan, courtesy of the Palmerston Forts Society

Entrance to Fort Nelson

Just inside the Fort, to the right is the redan, to the left are the tunnels

Tunnel leading to the centre caponnier, magazines and mortar battery

Unlined tunnel section
Entrances to the magazines

Inside one of the magazines

Tunnel carries on to mortar battery and caponnier

Entrance to the caponnier

Looking into the ditch through an embrasure

Upper level of the caponnier

Gun ports facing into the ditch

Looking back into the tunnel

The Mortar Battery

Passage leading from the Mortar Battery to the parade ground

Looking across the parade ground to the gun positions on the tereplein

The Eastern Haxo Casemates

Inside one of the Haxo Casemates

Another gun mounted on the Tereplein

The Redan
The Redan courtyard

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