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

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.
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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