Saturday, October 04, 2008

Fort Purbrook, Portsmouth

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

Barrack rooms

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'

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