Palmerston Forts Society

News

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:

 
The collapse of a large section of Hurst Castle’s east wing is a great loss to the nation’s coastal heritage. Although Hurst’s original 16th century tower at the centre of the defensive structure remains intact, it is the huge granite wings, built as part of the Victorian improvements to the nation’s coastal defences in the 1860s, that are the most prominent parts of the site. Sadly they are also at the most risk, as has been demonstrated in the last few weeks.

Although built to withstand heavy artillery fire from the most advanced guns used at the time, the great wings were not designed to withstand an assault from below. When they were built, the waterfront was a good distance from the fort and the wings were constructed on firm ground. 150 years later, the impact of coastal change is all too obvious, with significant changes to the spit's structure within the last 30 years.
 
Whilst coastal change has affected people living on the UK's coasts for many years, we should recognise that this is not an entirely natural process. We need a deeper understanding of human impact on the coast, such as the influence of dredging and how improvements to one shoreline can be detrimental to others. Hurst has been placed at risk from human actions elsewhere in Christchurch Bay for some time.

 

As one of the most visible reminders of Britain’s history of military coastal defence, Hurst is a significant heritage asset and one that must be preserved to the best of our ability. We look forward to better understanding how this unfortunate collapse occurred and what plans are being made to secure Hurst’s future. We are happy to work with English Heritage and Historic England in order to establish the most appropriate course of action, and safeguard the rest of the fort from the sea. 

 

 

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.
read more ...

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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