Fort Rowner: Interpreting a Fort


Fort Rowner Plan


Fort Rowner

Barrack Room


Cook House

Centre Caponier

Left Caponier

West Rampart

Left Shoulder

Main Magazine

Expense Magazines


Guard Room

Main Armament


Married Quarters

World War II


Soldiers' Kit

Daily Diet

Lighting the Fort

Siege Train










Fort Rowner was constructed between 1858 and 1862 as one of three identical forts to close off the gap between Forts Gomer and Elson and protect the western approach to Portsmouth Harbour. This line of five forts was referred to as the Gosport Advanced lines and was already under construction when the Royal Commission of 1860 reported on the Defences of the United Kingdom. Rowner, Grange and Brockhurst were all constructed of red brick with earth coverings and wet ditches. They each had a keep of last resort at the rear, a feature that was abandoned for later forts.


Gosport Advanced Lines

Fort Gomer

Fort Grange

Fort Rowner

Fort Brockhurst

Fort Elson

Fortress Portsmouth

Gosport Defences

Fields of Fire

Gun Groups


Parts of a Fort

The Victorian Army



Fort Rowner:The Keep Fort Brockhurst: The Keep

Fort Rowner Gallery

Fort Brockhurst Gallery


Fort Rowner is within the perimeter of H.M.S. Sultan and is not open to the public but can be visited during Heritage open days in September of each year. Fort Brockhurst is owned and maintained by English Heritage and can only be visted by arrangement with English Heritage. The rear of the three central forts of the Gosport Advanced Lines can be seen from the Military Road that connected them. Fort Gomer was completely destroyed in 1964. Fort Elson is within the perimeter of the Naval Armament Depot and not visible or accessible.


Aerial view of Fort Rowner on Flash Earth

Fort more information on Fort Rowner see Solent Papers No.11

Fort more information on the Gosport Advanced Lines forts see Solent Papers No.6