SZ6299 : Portsmouth from No Man's Land Fort

taken 3 years ago, near to Gosport, Hampshire, Great Britain

Portsmouth from No Man's Land Fort
Portsmouth from No Man's Land Fort
Looking across Spithead from the roof of No Man's Land fort to Portsmouth and Southsea with the Spinnaker Tower (taken as the subject reference) an obvious landmark left of centre. In front of the city can be seen SZ6397 : Spitbank Fort.
Spinnaker Tower
The Spinnaker Tower is a 170 m (558 ft)–high tower in Portsmouth. It is the centrepiece of the redevelopment of Portsmouth Harbour, which was supported by a National Lottery grant. Its shape was chosen by Portsmouth residents from a selection of concepts. The tower reflects Portsmouth's maritime history by being modelled after a sail. After several years of delays and cost overruns, it was opened on 18 October 2005.
Spitbank Fort :: SZ6397
Spitbank Fort is a circular sea fort built at the behest of Prime Minister Lord Palmerston as one of a series of forts, batteries and other defences intended to protect the south coast of England from attack by Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon)'s France.
It is one of four forts positioned in the Solent and is the second smallest. It was first commenced in July 1861 but work was suspended in Spring the following year due to political wrangling over their effectiveness and suitability. Work recommenced in March 1867 and was completed in June 1878. The cost at the time was £167,300 (equivalent to about £20m in today's money* [2016]), but actually quite reasonable when compared with the Royal William Victualling Yard at Plymouth which had cost £2 million, 60 years earlier.
Spitbank held 15 guns and barracks for 27 during peacetime - this number would have been higher in time of war.
It is built of granite, concrete and iron, has a diameter at sea level of 162' narrowing to 146' at its top.
It is now a luxury (and very unusual) hotel with eight bedrooms, run by Solent Forts LinkExternal link
For more detailed technical specification and history see LinkExternal link
And its Ancient Monument listing with English Heritage LinkExternal link
The other three sea forts in the Solent are:
St Helens Fort (the smallest)
No Man's Land Fort (equal largest, now a luxury hotel)
Horse Sand Fort (equal largest, owned by Solent Forts, intended to become a museum)
*Note: It is very difficult to compare monetary values over such time periods - it would certainly cost more than £20m to build such a fort today due to vastly increased costs, particularly the much higher wages (in real terms) that are paid to workmen now compared to the C19th. I would think such a fort would cost at least £200m these days.
No Man's Land Fort :: SZ6393
No Man's Land Fort is a circular sea fort built at the behest of Prime Minister Lord Palmerston as one of a series of forts, batteries and other defences intended to protect the south coast of England from attack by Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon)'s France.
It is one of four forts positioned in the Solent and is equal largest with Horse Sands Fort. It was first commenced in July 1861 but work was suspended in Spring the following year due to political wrangling over their effectiveness and suitability. Work recommenced in March 1865 and was completed in March 1880. The cost at the time was £462,500 (equivalent to about £50m in today's money* [2016]).
No Man's Land held 49 guns and barracks for 5 officers and at least 72 men.
It is built of granite, concrete and iron, has a diameter at sea level of about 220' narrowing to 205' at its top. Its main roof rises about 60' above sea level, with the lighthouse adding perhaps another 30' to its highest point.
It is now a luxury (and very unusual) hotel with 22 bedrooms, run by Solent Forts LinkExternal link
For more detailed technical specification and history see LinkExternal link
And its Ancient Monument listing with English Heritage LinkExternal link
It is also Grade II listed LinkExternal link
One interesting fact about this fort is that in 1971 it was used as one of the locations for the Dr Who story "The Sea Devils" - see LinkExternal link and LinkExternal link for more information.
*Note: It is very difficult to compare monetary values over such time periods - it would certainly cost more than £50m to build such a fort today due to vastly increased costs, particularly the much higher wages (in real terms) that are paid to workmen now compared to the C19th. I would think such a fort would cost at least £500m these days.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Rob Farrow and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SZ6299, 1755 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 3 May, 2016   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 10 May, 2016
Geographical Context
Coastal  City, Town centre  Defence, Military 
Place (from Tags)
No Mans Land Fort  Portsmouth  Southsea  Spitbank Fort 
Primary Subject of Photo
City 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SZ 629 999 [100m precision]
WGS84: 50:47.7156N 1:6.5345W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SZ 639 937
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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