Palmerston Forts Society

British Fortifications of the 19th and 20th Century

The Palmerston Forts Society has published an excellent introduction into the subject of the Palmerston fortifications of Britain. This 36 page booklet was first published in 2003, but now it has been updated and revised with this latest 2017 full colour edition. This A4 booklet examines the development of British Fortifications built during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

It has the following sections:

  • Introduction.
  • Types or Work and their Purpose.
  • Historical Background.
  • Gloire.
  • Royal Commission of 1859.
  • Coastal Defence Works.
  • Iron Shielding and Artillery Development.
  • Land Forts.
  • Moncrieff Mountings and Further Development in Guns.
  • The defences of the Commercial Ports.
  • The Chatham Fortress Ring.
  • The defence of London.
  • The outbreak of the First World War.

The book is richly illustrated with: 11 maps and plans. ■ 27 colour photographs. ■ 11 black and white antique illustrations and photographs.

This book can be purchased at the Fort Nelson museum shop, through Amazon.co.uk or, if you are in the UK, via Paypal using the button below for £8.35 including Royal Mail p&p:

Society Published Articles - The Redan

The Palmerston Forts Society provides its members with an annual journal "The Redan". The articles within the Redan are the results of individual members' research and cover all manner of subjects. The Redan has been published since 1986 and as a result it is a rich source of information for PFS members on all matters relating to Victorian Fortifications.

Below are a few samples of Redan articles taken from the back issues of the Redan which give a taste of the diverse nature of the articles published:

  • The married life of a soldier -
  • The defences of the Mersey -
  • Billiards in the forts -

To get an idea of what research articles are contained within the past issues of the Redan, the following document is a complete index from 1986 to 2020.

All the past issues of the Redan are available for members to view/download within the members area of the web site which can be entered by keying in a user name and password into the input fields in the top right of the page.

Fort Log

Fort Log is a series of two page documents designed to give the reader the key points and summarised information about each Victorian Fort & Battery within Great Britain. Like the Redan articles, the Fort Logs are the result of individual member's research and have been accumulated since their inception since 1993.

To date 256 individual Fort Logs are available to the members covering Forts and Batteries from Orkney to Guernsey, and many places in-between. They are included within the index document above.

A Sample Fort Logs are given below:

Pendennis Castle - Liscard Battery -

Fort Log like the Redan is a rich source of information about the Victorian Forts and Batteries of Great Britain, and the format given enables them to be used as field guides. All 256 Fort Logs are available in the members section of the web-site to be downloaded together with some useful maps to help identify the location of each site.

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.
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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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