Palmerston Forts Society



1)  At the Alverbank Hotel in Gosport on Tuesday 2nd August and Wednesday 3rd August at 1400, Palmerston Forts Society member James Doherty will be giving a “talk and walk” on the subject of FORT GOMER.

James will start the talk with the history of Fort Gomer and will then move on to introduce a 3D digital model of the fort that he has created.  This model gives you an opportunity to visit and explore a fort that no longer exists.  Fort Gomer was demolished in the 1960s and the site is now a housing estate.

Fort Gomer is a very interesting fort because it was built to a rather unique design that illustrates the transition from the old bastioned forts to the new polygonal design, to which all the subsequent land forts in the area were built.

In this presentation you may be able to don a VR headset and explore for oneself, subject to joining the queue for such a unique experience!

After the talk, there is the option to join James for a walk around the site of the fort. None of the buildings and features of the fort survive but the arrangement of the houses on the estate and even their size and height are influenced by what lies beneath the ground.

2)  At St. Mary’s Church in Fratton on Thursday 4th August and Friday 5th August at 1400, Palmerston Forts Society member Lewis Sharp will be telling the story of the SIEGE OF PORTSMOUTH 1897. This is a talk that was given as a “Fort Talk” at Fort Nelson last week and also earlier in the year as a PFS members’ meeting talk and webinar.  If you missed it then, here is a chance to catch it.

Lewis will describe this counterfactual 'future war' story which was written in 1895. It describes an amphibious attack on Portsmouth by a Franco-Russian alliance. The story was commissioned to support a parliamentary election campaign in Portsmouth. The political context to the story and its aftermath will be explained as well as the story itself, and then an analysis of whether the events described in it were plausible.

These events are all free but you need to book a place.  This link will take you to the booking page for all events.

You can also find details of these events, and a lot more, in the Palmerston Forts Society webpage by following this link:


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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