The Victorian Forts

 

The great Victorian Fortification programme began in 1852 with the construction of two forts to guard the western approaches to Portsmouth Harbour at Gosport. Fort Gomer was commenced in 1853 and completed in 1858. Fort Elson was commenced in 1855 and completed in 1860. When the Royal Commission reported in 1858 it recommended a new construction programme incorporating pre-existing forts into the scheme but proposing a comeplete ring of forts to guard the major dockyards of Portsmouth, Plymouth, Pembroke (Milford Haven), Portland, Thames, Medway, Doverand Cork.

 

In 1869 A report was produced entitled 'Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Construction, Condition and Cost of Fortifications Erected in 30, 31 Victoria and Previous Statutes, Together with minutes of Evidence.'

It listed the following forts and defences, constructed as part of, or incorporated into the Royal Commission Defence Scheme:

 

Portsmouth

Sea Defences Outer line:

Spithead Defences

Horse Sand Fort

   

No Man's Land Fort

   

Spit Bank Fort

   

St. Helens Fort

   

Puckpool Battery

 

Sea Defences Inner Line

Gilkicker Battery

   

Southsea Castle

   

Eastney Batteries

   

Lumps Battery

 

Needles Passage Defences

Hurst Castle

 

Isle of Wight Defences

Needles Battery

   

Hatherwood Battery

   

Warden Point Battery

   

Cliff End

   

Golden Hill Barrack

 

Isle of Wight Coast Defences

Bembridge Fort

   

Redcliff Battery

   

Yaverland Battery

   

Sandown Fort

   

Sandown Barrack Battery

   

Fort Purbrook and outworks

   

Fort Widley

   

Fort Southwick

   

Fort Nelson

   

Fort Wallington

   

Fort Fareham

   

Hilsea Lines

   

Fort Grange

   

Fort Rowner

   

Fort Brockhurst

   

Fort Fareham

Stokes Bay Lines

Plymouth

Sea Defences Outer Line

Bovisand or Staddon Point Battery

 

Breakwater Fort

 

Picklecombe Battery

 

Cawsand Battery

Sea Defences Inner Line

Drakes Island

 

Garden Battery, Mount Edgecumbe

 

Eastern and Western Kings

Western Defences

Fort Tregantle

 

Fort Scraesdon

 

Polhawn Battery

North Eastern Defences

Ernesettle Fort

 

Agaton Fort

 

Knowles Battery

 

Woodlands Fort

 

Crownhill Fort

 

Bowden Fort

 

Egg Buckland Keep

 

Forder Battery

 

Austin Fort

 

Fort Efford

 

Laira Battery

Staddon Position

Fort Staddon

 

Fort Stamford

Pembroke

Sea Defences

Stack Rock

 

South Hook

 

Hubberstone Battery

 

Popton Point Battery

 

Chapel Bay Battery

Land Defences

Fort Scoveston

Portland

 

Verne Citadel

 

The East Weir Batteries

Portland Breakwater

Inner Pier Fort

 

Portland Breakwater Fort

 

The Nothe Fort

Thames

 

Coalhouse Fort

   

Cliffe Fort

   

Shornmead

   

Slough Fort

Medway and Sheerness

Sea Defences

Grain Fort

   

Isle of grain Battery

   

Garrison Point Fort

   

Hoo and Darnet forts

 

Land Front of Sheerness

Queenborough lines and Cheyney Batteries

Dover

 

Western Outwork

   

The Citadel

   

North Centre Bastion and North Entrance

   

Drop Redoubt and East Lines

   

South Front Barrack, South Entrance and Lines

   

Castle Heights

   

Castle Hill Fort

Cork

 

Spike Island

   

Carlisle Fort

   

Fort Camden

 

The nomenclature 'Fort' or 'Battery' applied to the defences was done so without clarification. In some cases a battery eventually became known as a fort i.e. 'Hubbersone Battery' became 'Hubberston Fort'. Likewise there has never been any claification as to why the term fort was applied before or after the name i.e. 'Crownhill Fort' but 'Fort Nelson'.