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

21/04/2021 - Zoom Webinar - Military Wall Art Official to Subversive

The Palmerston Forts Society, together with the Fortress Study Group and the Ordnance Society, are pleased to announce the following Zoom webinar… On the 21st April, Roger Thomas will give a talk on Military Wall Art Official to Subversive. The talk will commence at 2000hrs, and all PFS members are welcome to attend. The link has been emailed to the members but if you are unsure then contact the Membership Secretary at membership@palmerstonfortssociety.org.uk

28/04/2021 - Zoom Webinar - Norway with the CDSG Part 2

The Palmerston Forts Society, together with the Fortress Study Group and the Ordnance Society, are pleased to announce the following Zoom webinar… On the 28th April, Charles Blackwood will give a talk Norway with the CDSG Part 2. The talk will commence at 2000hrs, and all PFS members are welcome to attend. The link has been emailed to the members but if you are unsure then contact the Membership Secretary at membership@palmerstonfortssociety.org.uk

05/05/2021 - Zoom Webinar - the Sixteenth Century fortifications of Antwerp Part 1.

The Palmerston Forts Society, together with the Fortress Study Group and the Ordnance Society, are pleased to announce the following Zoom webinar… On the 5th May, John Harris will give a talk on the Sixteenth Century fortifications of Antwerp Part 1. The talk will commence at 2000hrs, and all PFS members are welcome to attend. The link has been emailed to the members but if you are unsure then contact the Membership Secretary at membership@palmerstonfortssociety.org.uk

News

Fort Nelson reopens on 12th April

Fort Nelson will be open from 12 April 2021. Once again, visitors will be able to enjoy the panoramic views from the fort’s ramparts, The galleries will then be opened on May 17th as the Covid restrictions are relaxed. Although the main café will not be open, the snack bar will be open with plenty of picnic space. Social distancing and various other forms of safety control will be in place, and so the number of people on site can be managed it is necessary to book advance for the timed daily sessions. Admission is free but on-site car parking incurs a small charge. Disappointingly, it looks as if there are no plans for live firings in 2021. Nigel Hosier, the Operations Manager, is quoted: "The guns have been silent for more than a year now but we have big plans for their return in 2022. They are the life, sight and smell of the fort. We plan to revamp and remodel how we do it." For advance booking check the Royal Armouries website: https://royalarmouries.org/venue/fort-nelson/

Fort Gilkicker - interesting news (perhaps)

Interesting news about FORT GILKICKER (perhaps) The Fort Gilkicker Information Group today reports: “………. I just wanted to update you with an important piece of news I have been informed of today. Two reliable sources of information have told me that contracts have been exchanged very recently for Gilkicker which means that the fort now possibly has a new owner and work is again going to commence very soon. I am awaiting a final reply from …….regarding this issue but will keep you all updated accordingly. …….” We will keep you posted on this one !
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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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