ST2859 : Military folly?

taken 3 years ago, 4 km from Brean, Somerset, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Military folly? in this square
Military folly?
Military folly?
In 1858, France built the first 'ironclad' warship, 'Gloire'. British warships at the time were wooden and badly outdated.

The growing concern over the development led to the British government instigating a series of coastal forts to repel sea-borne assaults. Brean Down was chosen as the site of one of four on the Bristol Channel, along with those on the islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holm; Lavernock Point in Wales completed the quartet.

The fort housed seven 7 inch muzzle-loaded guns, which were not exactly cutting edge technology at the time the site was open for use in 1871. As it happened the threat from the continent subsided pretty quickly and the government were often derided - causing them to be referred to as 'Palmerston's Follies.'

Life in the fort was therefore limited to training and little else. By the time a massive explosion rocked the fort in 1900, there was no need to resume occupation and so the military left.

For a time afterwards, the old fort became a cafe, run by the Hillman family until 1936. However, when Hitler refused to back down in 1939, the fort was returned to the military and kept until the 1950s.

Nowadays it is an open site to walkers, in the care of the National Trust.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Neil Owen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Grid Square
ST2859, 131 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 13 March, 2017   (more nearby)
Thursday, 16 March, 2017
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Defence, Military  Estuary, Marine 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 2804 5928 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:19.6828N 3:2.0510W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 2805 5926
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Other Tags
Former Fort 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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