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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


Anonymous said...

Where's Golden Hill Fort then!. It was the Garrison Fort on the Island after all!!.

Colin G said...

I haven't got enough photos of Golden Hill to do a page, unless someone wants to donate some? if you can help!

Anonymous said...

Excellent explanation! Clear. Provides valuable insights. Well done!"