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Thursday, July 16, 2009
Sandown Fort, Isle of Wight
This fort was constructed in the 1860s and is reminiscent of the granite forts on the Thames Estuary. On the Isle of Wight however, it is quite unique, consisting of a single tiered row of casemated gun rooms, differing from the open batteries, which are most prominent on the Island. The North-West half of the fort has been destroyed, as unfortunately have most of the casemates on the South East Face. The outer wall remains, and is in very good condition, a WWII pillbox being quite noticeable on the terreplein. The fort now houses the Isle of Wight Zoo and some of the remaining casemates are currently being renovated to house an exhibition of the PLUTO pump, which was held at the fort and transported oil to France to aid the D-Day landings. This is expected to open sometime this year.
The fort can be viewed by paying entrance to the zoo.
Plan, courtesy of the Palmerston Forts Society
Exterior of the fort, which forms a carpark for the Zoo
Another view, showing the roof of a buried caponnier
Another exterior view
One of the gun ports
These casemates have been destroyed, leaving only the rear wall
View up to the roof of the casemates
Inside one of the casemates
View along two of the casemates
Another view of the fort's interior
These casemates are being converted for the PLUTO exhibition
Some old buildings inside the fort, now used a toilets