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

25/05/2022 - PFS Evening Meeting - Restoration and Reuse of Victorian Fortifications and the Sustainable Conservation Trust

This evening's talk is by Deniz Beck, the founder of Deniz Beck Partners. An accredited conservation architect, she specialises in the sensitive regeneration of historic buildings and monuments, particularly those considered at risk and with complicated issues.  In 2020, she founded the Sustainable Conservation Trust, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation, regeneration and use of historic structures.  Deniz will talk to us about the trust and a number of conservation and development projects which include The Hotwalls Studios, Spitbank Fort, Martello Tower P in Felixstowe and the Fraser Range. The meeting will be at Fort Nelson, with access via the Lower West Gate which opens at 7.00pm. There is car parking in this gate area and also on the approach road to the Upper West Gate. The meeting commences at 7.30pm and the gate will be closed at this time.

22/06/2022 - PFS Evening Meeting - Subject t.b.d.

27/07/2022 - PFS Evening visit to Fort Blockhouse

The evening visit to Fort Blockhouse is currently over-subscribed, but if any member wishes to go on to the reserve list then see Newsletter 165, Spring 2022, for details.

News

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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PFS Meetings at Fort Nelson 2022

The PFS  will soon be issuing details of the PFS meetings at Fort Nelson.
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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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Palmerston Forts Society Members' Survey

In February and March this year, we surveyed the PFS membership on the subject of the PFS website...
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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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Latest news concerning Fort Gilkicker

On Wednesday 5th May, four members of the Palmerston Forts Society meet with two directors of the development company that has bought Fort Gilkicker and their architect.  We were invited to the meeting after approaching the developers with a request for clarification of their plans for the fort.
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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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Fort Nelson reopens on 12th April

Fort Nelson will be open from 12 April 2021.
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Fort Gilkicker - interesting news (perhaps)

Interesting news about FORT GILKICKER (perhaps)  
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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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