Palmerston Forts Society


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.
 The owners were very open to a range of possibilities. Their ideas range from simply stabilising and securing the site to developing it as a museum. It could become a garden / function area for the hotel guests similar to the current status of the Eastney Battery West. Museum options could include developing it in a way that represents its original function or using the location for a thematic museum - perhaps related to its previous use as a radar establishment or its role in the "Cockleshell Heroes" raid. Nothing is decided.
 The new owners have strong connections to Portsmouth but have lived in Hong Kong for many years. They are very aware of the coastal defence history of the site and how similar installations in Hong Kong have been developed as heritage sites.
 The interaction with the owners was a refreshingly positive experience for PFS. We were asked "What would be best for the Fort?.... What would be best for Portsmouth? " and we were challenged to come up with more ideas.
 We have come away from the meeting with some actions, and we will get on with those, but this is a rare opportunity to make practical suggestions to developers whose minds are open. It is not often that someone with the resources and will to bring an old site back to life actually throws the question open to the public.
 The proximity of the battery to a five star hotel is great news for us - this will ensure its security - but how can the site be enhanced and given a sustainable future?


Volunteers needed to help get the big guns firing at Fort Nelson.

Volunteers are needed to help bring gun firing back to Fort Nelson in Portsmouth. The Portsdown Artillery Volunteers (PAV) were established to reenact the firing of the Victorian guns at Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill and they are looking to recruit new volunteers to help both fire and maintain the mighty Victorian guns. If you are interested in joining the Portsdown Artillery Volunteers and demonstrating this forgotten part of Britain’s history, you can contact the team at or you can talk to some of the volunteers at their Fort Nelson open day between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 22 October
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R.I.P. David Moore

The PFS is saddened to announce the passing of a founding member and great friend of the PFS - David Moore - a person of vast Victorian fortifications knowledge. The delay in advising the membership is out of respect for David's family who did not want it to be publicised until after his funeral.

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.

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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