Palmerston Forts Society

News

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.

We explained that the Palmerston Forts Society have no objection to a conversion to residential use and we would support any project that give a sustainable future for as much of the fabric of the fort as possible.

The developers will turn the fort into high specification apartments.  This is essentially to the plan established by the previous owners of the fort (image attached).  This proposal has planning consent which is still valid.  The apartments will occupy the original casemated gun floor and a new upper level  which will take the place of the 20th century upper gun level.  The magazine level below the gun floor will be dedicated to utilities.  There will be additional apartments in the barrack block.

The conversion will involve the removal of the earth bank which currently covers the casemated gun floor and the 20th century concrete additions on the roof of the fort. The major civils work on the roof and the earth bank will start in September and the project is planned to take two years to complete.

The architect is familiar with the repurposing of heritage buildings including fortifications.  He explained that original features such as lifting lugs will be retained if they satisfy building safety regulations.  Most of the original non-structural features such as ammunition lifts are in very poor condition but we agreed that efforts should be made to ensure that nothing is scrapped that might be useful to another fort.  We will be discussing how that might be facilitated.  We have agreed to keep in touch and provide any technical information that could be useful to the project.

Site security remains a problem.  We were told that gaps in the fences are reopened as soon as they are fixed and new razor wire has been displaced.  The developers assured us that they were determined to protect their property but there seems to be almost routine trespass and we remain worried about the potential for damage, fire or injury.

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.
read more ...

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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