Page 6 - Fort Gilkicker
P. 6

Fort Gilkicker                                                                                  Solent Papers No.5

             The first Fort
             Gilkicker with the
             later one overlaid


            Fort Monckton and Fort
            Gilkicker 1892             5   Soldiers’ Quarters  9   Married Quarter
            1   Magazine (Canteen)     6   Drawbridge        10  Stables
            2   Recreation Room        7   Caponier          11  Stokes Bay Moat
            3   Cookhouse              8   Sluice
            4   Officers’ Quarters

           Commanding Engineer, the then Colonel Archer, to   It was important to close off the southern line of
           erect  a battery at ‘Hasilworth’ Point on the site of  approach from Stokes Bay as an enemy landing in
           Haselworth Castle. Up until 1780 this fort was     the Bay would make the new Gosport Advanced
           referred to as the Fort at Gilkicker but then it   Line ineffective. In order to make a beach landing
           changed its name to Fort Monckton. Part of its outer  more hazardous Fort Monckton was strengthened by
           defence was Gilkicker Lake. This was filled by the  the addition of an ‘Auxiliary Battery’, the first fort
           River Alver which flowed through tidal marshes     on the site of the present Fort Gilkicker. An earthen
           parallel with Stokes Bay beach. The river flowed into  rampart connected the two (a distance of 500 yards).
           the sea through a sluice from Gilkicker Lake. The
           Gilkicker landmark was removed at the time of the  The earlier fort faced in a more westerly direction
           construction of the fort at Gilkicker and surprisingly  than the present one and had a wet moat in front of it.
           the magazine of this fort was so visible that it could  It was designed to protect the beach at Stokes Bay as
           be used in conjunction with the Kickergill as the  well as the deep water anchorage which lay between
           Gilkicker had been. This early Fort Monckton was to  Browndown Point and Gilkicker Point.
           cause a great deal of argument as to its suitability and
           it was replaced with a much stronger fort by 1790.
                                                              A highly critical observer of the time, one James
                                                              Fergusson, who was later to become the Treasury
           The first Fort Gilkicker                           member on the 1860 Commission, wrote in
           In the 1850’s it was considered necessary to secure  ‘Portsmouth Protected’ - 1856, that two new 6 gun
           the western landward approaches to Portsmouth      batteries had been constructed at Gilkicker and at
           Harbour by building a line of fortifications. Between  Southsea since 1852. He described them as being :-
           1853 and 1858 two new fortifications based on the
           latest continental form of ‘Polygonal' fortification  ‘...wholly of earth, without any protection in front or
           were constructed at Gomer and to the north at Elson.  in rear, and with parapets so enormously high, and,
           From 1858 to 1862 three more elaborate forts       consequently, with embrasures so deep, that it is
           (Brockhurst, Rowner and Grange) were built to fill in  almost impossible to get them to stand; that on
           the gap between these two earlier forts. These five  Gilkicker point has already tumbled down once of its
           forts became known as the Gosport Advanced Lines.
                                                              own accord, in the most unprovoked manner, and it

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