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

27/11/2019 - The Eagle Divided - A Tour of 19th Century Russian and Prussian Fortifications in Poland

A talk by PFS member Lewis Sharp of his 2018 tour of 19th Century Russian and Prussian Fortifications in Poland.

26/02/2020 - The Black and Tans and the Anglo-Irish War

2020 marks the centenary of the deployment of the para-military police force - the Black and Tans - in Ireland. Their indiscriminate and heavy-handed methods succeeded in dragging the IRA to the negotiating table but alienated the majority of the law-abiding Irish population. The talk on this fascinating and generally forgotten subject will be given by PFS member Richard Willcocks

25/03/2020 - Wellington: Iron Duke or Old Nosey?

A talk by Paul Vickers, Heritage Project Officer, Friends of Aldershot Military Museum

News

Hurst Castle storm damage sparks safety fears

Fears over the future of Hurst Castle have been heightened after storm damage forced the historic building’s closure at the weekend. English Heritage, which owns the scheduled monument near Milford, has shut a number exhibition rooms for the foreseeable future after large cracks appeared in the walls and ceilings.
read more ...

Redan 80 Availability

The 2019 issue of The Redan has been received from the printers, and will be distributed to members who attend this year's AGM on the 12th October. A general mail out to members who have renewed will commence from the 14th October.

PFS Membership Renewals

The new PFS membership year commenced on the 1st October, and thanks to all members who have renewed, but a reminder to those who have yet to renew that their subscription for the 2019-2020 year is now in overdue.

Peter Ashley Activity Centres: Fort Widley Heritage Evening - 4th October 2019

The Peter Ashley Activity Centre at Fort Widley will be open for a unique evening on Friday 4th October with a tour of the Secret Nuclear Bunker. The two hour guided tour begins at 6.30 pm and will include access to the Nuclear Civil Defence Bunker and a talk about the changes to civil defence since the 1950s. The cost is £15 per person and does include refreshments, including Pompey Pals Ale. To book call Lydia on 02392 321223 or email: lydia@peterashleyactivitycentres.co.uk
read more ...

Fort Cumberland Heritage Open Days

Fort Cumberland Heritage Open Days will be from Friday 13th September to Monday 16th September. Full details and tickets are available on the website: www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/fort-cumberland1
read more ...