Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight

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Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight is located in Isle of WightIsle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Palmerston Forts, Isle of Wight
Locations of Palmerston Forts on the Isle of Wight.
Plan of the Victorian defences of the Isle of Wight

The Palmerston Forts are a group of forts and associated structures built during the Victorian period on the recommendations of the 1860 Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom. The name comes from their association with Lord Palmerston, who was Prime Minister at the time and promoted the idea.

The structures were built as a response to a perceived threat of a French invasion. The works were also known as Palmerston's Follies as, by the time they were completed the threat (if it had ever existed) had passed, largely due to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and technological advancements leading to the guns becoming out-of-date.[1]

As well as new structures, extensive modifications were made to existing defences.

The defences on the Isle of Wight were built to protect the approaches to the Solent, Southampton and Portsmouth. They consist of three separate groups, those at the western end of the island, those at the eastern end, and four built in the Solent.

The information in the tables is taken from documents for each site, from the Victorian Forts website.[2]

Western end[edit]

A 12.5 inch gun from Cliff End Battery
Site name Location Open to the public? Construction began Construction ended Cost Grid reference Map
Fort Victoria Sconce Point, Yarmouth YesY 1852 1855 £40,000[3] SZ338897 [1]
Fort Albert Cliff End, Freshwater N 1854[3] 1856 Unknown SZ329890 [2]
Freshwater Redoubt Freshwater Bay N 1855 1856 Unknown SZ344855 [3]
The Needles Battery Alum Bay YesY 1861 1863 £7,656 SZ295848 [4]
Warden Point Battery Warden Point, Freshwater N 1862 1863 £12,899 SZ325876 [5]
Cliff End Battery Cliff End, Freshwater N 1862 1868 £32,714 SZ332890 [6]
Golden Hill Fort Afton Down N 1863 1868 £38,022 SZ339879 [7]
Hatherwood Battery Alum Bay YesY 1865 1869 £5,825 SZ307858 [8]
The New Needles Battery Alum Bay YesY 1893 1895 £9,821[4] SZ299847 [9]
Bouldnor Battery Bouldnor N 1937 1938 Unknown SZ379902 [10]

Eastern end[edit]

Site name Location Open to the public? Construction began Construction ended Cost Grid reference Map
Puckpool Battery Puckpool Point YesY 1863 1865 20,864 SZ615923 [11]
Nodes Point Battery Nodes Point YesY 1901 1904 £21,654 SZ635898 [12]
Steynewood Battery Whitecliff Bay N 1889 1893 Unknown SZ641869 [13]
Culver Battery Culver Down YesY 1904 1906 Unknown SZ638855 [14]
Bembridge Fort Bembridge Down N 1862 1867 £48,925 SZ624861 [15]
Redcliff Battery Culver Down YesY 1861 1863 £4,776 SZ638855 [16]
Yaverland Battery Yaverland YesY 1861 1864 15,183 SZ612849 [17]
Sandown Fort Sandown Bay YesY 1861 1864 £73,876 SZ597839 [18]
Sandown Barrack Battery Sandown Bay YesY 1861 1863 £62,331 SZ594837 [19]

Solent[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Palmerston's Follies': a reply to the French 'threat'". www.napoleon.org. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  2. ^ Victorian Forts website citation sheets for each location. Retrieved 2012-01-22. (PDF files).
  3. ^ a b *Cantwell, Anthony (1985). Fort Victoria: 1852–1969. Isle of Wight County Council Cultural Service. ISBN 0-906328-32-2. 
  4. ^ "The Needles Battery – History of the New Battery". Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Solent Papers No. 2 The Needles Defences by Anthony Cantwell - EAN 978-0-9513234-9-6
  • Solent Papers No. 10 The East Wight Defences by David Moore - EAN 978-0-9548453-3-9