Palmerston Forts Society

About Us

The Palmerston Forts Society was formed in 1984 and is based at Fort Nelson, Fareham, which is now home to the Royal Armouries Museum of Artillery.

In the early 1980’s Fort Nelson was quietly crumbling away but was rescued by the intervention of Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council, together with a small number of dedicated volunteers, to preserve it for future generations. These local volunteers went on to become the core of the Society which now has an international membership.

PFS members are encouraged to share their research with a view to publishing it in the Society’s annual journal ‘The Redan’ which is distributed each October. Meetings are held at Fort Nelson on the fourth Wednesday of every month, excluding August and December, often with speakers on military subjects that may range from Victorian guns to local history to World War One and Two. One meeting each year is normally a visit to a local fort or gun battery not generally available to the public, and each year at least one visit is made to fortifications outside of the area. The Society’s Annual General Meeting is held at Fort Nelson each October.

Members are welcome to take part in conservation activities and Saturday morning work parties at Fort Nelson (in cooperation with Royal Armouries). In the past two years the PFS work parties have achieved a great amount on the western ramparts at the Fort, including building an Ordinary Gun Platform on which a 64pr RML mounted on a Common Garrison Carriage is located, and creating a new firing step on which soldiers would have been deployed during an attack.

Monthly meeting

The Palmerston Forts Society is a registered charity, for more information please use the following link to the Charities Commission web-site:

Meetings / Events

10/09/2022 - PFS 2022 Outing to the Chatham forts Horsted and Luton

The PFS Committee is pleased to announce that the 2022 Annual Outing to the Chatham forts Horsted and Luton that was cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation, is now back on the calendar for 2022! Please see newsletter 165, Spring 2022, for details
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15/10/2022 - PFS Annual General Meeting 2022

The PFS will hold the 2022 AGM on Saturday 15th October at 14.00hrs. The meeting will take place at Fort Nelson, as has been the venue in the past,  but will also be virtual by Zoom (as last year) to give members who are unable to attend the opportunity to do so. The meeting will be held with Royal Armouries' approval and in accordance with whatever safety requirements they determine. All PFS members are invited to attend.

News

Fort Gilkicker sold for £1.386M

The online auction on the Clive Emson site has just ended with Fort Gilkicker being sold for £1.386 million against a guide price of £1.5 million.  There were four bidders willing to pay at least £1.35 million. We also have just had a recent report that intruders to the site – which is hardly secure – have done more permanent damage to the barracks block. We can only hope that the new owner – whatever their intentions – gets this site secure and safe very soon.

PORTSMOUTH AND GOSPORT HISTORY WEEK - 1st to 7th August

The PORTSMOUTH AND GOSPORT HISTORY WEEK, held during 1st to 7th August, includes a couple of talks that will be of interest to fortification enthusiasts.....
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Fortifications Events Calendar

New fortifications events calendar available. This covers events at many Victorian Fortifications across the UK. Click on "Information" then "Fortifications Events".
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Merry Christmas!

The PFS Committee would like to take this festive time to wish the members of the Society a 'Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous 2022'.

Horse Sand Fort sold for £715,000

The BBC website has just announced the following.... 'A derelict sea fort built to deter a French invasion in the 19th Century has been sold for £715,000.
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PFS New Publication - 'The Portsmouth Artillery Volunteers 1797 - 1908'

The PFS has just launched a new publication - 'The Portsmouth Artillery Volunteers 1797-1908' .
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English Heritage Statement on Hurst Castle

EH have issued a statement on their web site concerning the collapse of part of the castle and the work currently being carried out.
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PFS Official Statement regarding Hurst Castle

At this morning's PFS Committee, the catastrophe that had struck the East Wing Battery of Hurst Castle was discussed. The committee felt it appropriate that an official public statement should be made.
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Hurst Castle Front Seaward-Facing Wall Collapse

Terrible news form Hurst Castle as the front seaward-facing wall collapses due to coastal erosion. A report from the BBC news website follows....
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Exciting news about Eastney Fort East

Earlier this week, a delegation from the Palmerston Forts Society met with the new owners of the site of the former Royal Marines Museum which includes the battery. The owners plan to develop the site into Portsmouth's first five star hotel. We were invited to discuss options for the future of the battery site.
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Amazon Smile

The PFS have registered with Amazon Smile. If you use Amazon why not use Amazon Smile instead, there is no difference to you as the customer, but for every £1 you spend, those nice folk at Amazon will give the PFS a ha'penny!
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