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History Castles and Fortifications

Spit Bank (Solent)

REF NR: 28

1. Spit Bank Fort built to defend the Spithead Anchorage and Portsmouth Harbour one of the positions chosen for a fort in the Royal Commissions report of 1860 was that of Spitbank. It was placed here to act as second tier of armament to not only augment the larger forts but to act as last line of defence for the harbour mouth should any ships manage to get past the outer defences.

Build Costs     £  117, 964     Based on this cost it is estimated by using the retail price index as a conversion calculator the relative cost in today market would be £8,660,000.00  

 

Completed     1869

 

Over several years the forts defences had a myriad of changes and upgrades, with only the Bofors guns of WWII seeing any real action as it defended Portsmouth from the night bombers of the German Luftwaffe. 

1876 – Mounted

  • 6 * 7-inch RML
  • 9 * 10-inch RML

1886 – Mounted

  • 6 * 7-inch RML  – Proposed 6 * 7-inch RMI
  • 9 * 10-inch RML – Proposed 9 * 12.5-inch RML
  • 1891 – Mounted
  • 6 * 7-inch.
  • 9 * 12.5-inch
  • (one 7-inch removed by 1898)

1899 – Mounted

  • 9 * 12.5-inch R.M.L
  • 2 * 4.7-inch Q.F.

1906 – Mounted

  • 3 * 125-inch R.M.L.
  • 2 * 4.7-inch Q.F.

1910 – Mounted

  • 2 * 4.7-inch Q.F.
  • 2 * 6-inch B.L.

1917 – Mounted

  • 1 * 6-inch B.L.
  • 2 * 4.7-inch Q.F.

WW II

  • 2 * Lewis, 1 * 40mm Bofors, 1 * 6-inch B.L.


New Ownership 2009
 

The Coastal Defence programme was cancelled in 1956 and the fort disbanded, then during 1957 the searchlights and generators were removed. Throughout its operational lifetime, Spitbank fort was never really tested against a naval invasion and in 1952 it was sold to a private concern. The fort has recently been purchased by Amazing Retreats as a part of their growing portfolio.  There are major plans for its refurbishment in hand and it can be followed on their website see Resources for the various linkages available.
 

Proposed new plans:  See Resoruce links

1. Sources: PDF's are reproduced with kind permission of the Palmerstonforts Society

 

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