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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Freshwater Redoubt, Isle of Wight

This fort was constructed between 1855 and 1856 and is located on the cliffs overlooking Freshwater Bay. It is protected by a dry ditch to the North and West, with sheer cliffs to the South and East of the Fort. Concrete gun emplacements are still extant and cover the bay and the South-West of the fort. Entrance to the fort is via a bridge, which crosses the ditch next to the caponnier. The caponnier, which is now derelict, provided barrack accommodation as well as flanking fire across the ditch and was accessed by a staircase from within the fort. Interestingly, there is also a tunnel which opens out onto the cliff face with a stairway down to the beach, however, the stairs are very rusty and appear extremely dangerous. The fort is now a private residence and a modern building occupies the interior.

This fort is privately owned, but can be viewed from the outside.

Plan, courtesy of the Palmerston Forts Society

View of the fort from the bay

Close-up of the steps up to the tunnel in the cliffs

Entrance to the fort from the bridge

The ditch, from the bridge

The remains of the Caponnier

Exterior of the caponnier
Looking into the caponnier

Another view inside the caponnier

Shaft above the passage to the caponnier

Magazine, half filled with earth

4 comments:

Porcelain Hammer said...

There's also a 'secret' tunnel, which I'd assumed was a smugglers tunnel (though it may have had a military purpose) from Watcombe Bay, which is remarkably similar to the photos of Pegwell Bay tunnel on this Blog.

Anonymous said...

When I holidayed at Freshwater in the 70s you could still walk through the tunnel at the cliffhead, to the beach at Watcombe Bay. The tunnel started off about 2 ft high then opened out at 6ft at the mouth. The entrance is now filled in with earth

Anonymous said...

Sadly the tunnel to Watcombe Bay was filled in by the council some years ago due to 'Health & Safety' fears!

Lewis Johnstone said...

I believe there was a cave in. The Coastguard used to use the tunnel to return to the cliff top after repelling down for training.