Fort Purbrook was completed in 1870 and forms part of the line of forts on Portsdown Hill, along with forts Widley, Southwick and Nelson. Fort Purbrook lies to the East of Fort Widley, and was originally supported by two small redoubts known as Farlington and Crookhorn, although both have know been demolished. Purbrook has a similar design to the other forts on the hill, with a large brick barracks facing South and a ditch to the North protected by caponniers. The fort has remained in good condition, and many original features, such as stenciled signs, metal shutters covering gun ports and cannons can be found. The fort is now in the hands of the Peter Ashley Activity Centre, and along with Widley, is used for events and outdoor activities.
Many thanks to the Peter Ashley Staff for allowing this visit, and the PFS for arranging.
Plan, courtesy of the Palmerston Forts Society
The entrance to Fort Purbrook
Moncrieff gun pit on ramparts
Some of the cannons
More cannons on an old gun mount
Looking into the ditch from the rampart
Stairs down from parade ground to tunnels
Tunnel leading from barracks
Tunnel to caponnier
Entrance to the caponnier
Stencilled sign 'East Caponniére', the original spelling of 'caponnier'
Caponnier on the lower level
Steps up to the upper level
View across the upper level
Caponnier and gun rooms from the ditch
Metal shutters still in place
View along the ditch
View of the main caponnier
Passage to the Mortar Battery
The Mortar Battery
The covered firing step
Another sign: 'To North East Escarp & North West Upper Flanking Gallery'