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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fort Brockhurst, Gosport

Fort Brockhurst formed part of the 'Gosport Advanced Line', along with forts Elson, Rowner, Grange and Gomer, positioned to protect Gosport from the West. It was completed in 1862 and takes the form of a polygonal structure, with a moat protected by a caponnier, and an adjoining fortified circular keep. There is a long row of casemates on the parade ground, above which are Haxo Casemates for the guns.

The fort is now used by English Heritage for storage, and although in a good state of preservation, unfortunatly not often open to the public. This was a private tour, thanks to English Heritage.

Plan, courtesy of the Palmerston Forts Society

Entrance to the fort is through a bridge into the keep

Inside the keep's courtyard

On the top of the keep looking down

Inside the keep's gun rooms

Looking out to the courtyard from one of the casemates

One of the keep's defensive caponniers

Inside one of the defensive caponniers

View along one row of the barrack rooms

Looking along the top towards the Haxo Casemates

Inside one of the Haxos

Inside one of the barrack rooms below the guns

Passage linking the casemates

Passage to caponnier and scarp gun rooms

Inside the caponnier

The caponnier from outside

The stables
These casemates were destroyed during WW2,
exposing the gun gallery behind


Anonymous said...

In September 1955, as a regular in the Royal Air Force, I was posted to Fort Brockhurst and was billetted there until moving to HMS Seahawk near Helston in Cornwall.

Unknown said...

Does anyone know about the tunnels that lead from Fort Brockhurst to somewhere near St Vincent in Forton road?

Anonymous said...

There is no tunnels - would be impossible to build due to the type of ground.

MadCapGoblin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadCapGoblin said...

I have a little info re tunnels first hand.
I grew up in Fort Brockhurst and lived there from 87-99.
My cousin and I spent years looking at the construction diagrams in the exhibition centre there, we also crawled through many sewer tunnels etc. We never found anything amazing but always believed there was more.
There are reports from people garrisoned their earlier that there was a tunnel underground between the keep and other gun casings etc, and I can confirm that you can crawl the sewers all the way from keep to each caponier.
I wish we had found more, just today I went for a walk in Gosport and found old gun rails partially exposed in a park near the coast.
Honestly with the forts so close together, I know it would have been a big project but tunnels between the costal lines would have made so much sense.
I've just got back into a history rabbithole so maybe I'll spend some more time researching this as I'm local currently.

Unknown said...

I lived in MQs in Fort Brockhurst from 1949 unti 1956, no talk of tunnels then. The sewerage went out through iron pipes from under the sergeants' mess cookhouse to Gunners Way. Water came in similar pipes a few metres away. There was an iron levered water pump near the MQs but not in working order. Iron boot scrapers outside the doors of each barrack room and MQ. Were quarters still occupied from 1987-99?

MadCapGoblin said...

The quarters were not occupied 87-99, just asked someone in the know and they were last used in 1959.
When I was living there, the boot scrappers and water pump you mentioned were all still in place.
The sewerage system I ended up crawling was part of the original construction, so brick construction.

MadCapGoblin said...

If you are interested I am in close contact with someone who has done a lot of interviews with people that served at the fort and has worked for English Heritage and then personally on documenting that period. It would be great to try and put you in touch with each other.