Fort Nelson :: Shared Description

Fort Nelson was built at considerable expense (£78,649) in the 1860s on the orders of Lord Palmerston, the then Prime Minister. This equates to many millions of pounds in today's money.
It was one of a whole clutch of major fortifications built in this period to defend Britain from the perceived danger of attack from France.
A series of forts, batteries and redoubts were built along the South Coast near to the major Naval bases, especially Portsmouth (as in this case) and Plymouth. The forts were built some way inland from the ports themselves as they were to defend these bases from encircling attacks. Each fort's range overlapped with adjacent forts in order to both create a continuous chain of defence, and so that should one fort fall to the enemy the adjacent fort or forts could bombard it and stop it being used by the enemy themselves.
In many ways the basic design of these forts as exemplified by Fort Nelson was a development of the Star Forts of Henry VIII, but with modern (C19th) innovations and enhancements.
None of these Palmerston Forts ever actually fired a shot in anger and were therefore often seen as expensive "white elephants", but as with all forms of defence they may well have helped to prevent an attack, and therefore served their purpose. During the subsequent world wars of the C20th, the forts continued to play an important role in the defence of the country, though not in the ways that had originally been planned. Fort Nelson in particular was used for various purposes during both these wars, and in WWII held a vast quantity of armaments awaiting use. As such it would have been a primary target for attack by the Luftwaffe, but its strategic importance was carefully downplayed and not advertised by excessive defensive batteries of anti-aircraft guns for example.
For more information on the fort's history see LinkExternal link
Not surprisingly for such an historic building, it is listed as Grade I by English Heritage - see LinkExternal link
In particular see LinkExternal link which has a lot of facts and figures about the fort as well as plans and a virtual "tour".
by Rob Farrow
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10 images use this description:

SU6007 : Fort Nelson - Interior by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - Turkish Bombard of 1464 by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - Ditch and southern aspect by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - Coastal protection guns by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - Main tunnel by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - footbridge to main entrance by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - A section of the "Iraqi Super Gun" by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - Battleship gun by Rob Farrow
SU6107 : The Nelson Monument near Fort Nelson by Rob Farrow
SU6007 : Fort Nelson - Mallet's Mortar by Rob Farrow


These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Fri, 8 Jan 2016, Updated: Mon, 18 Jun 2018

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2016 Rob Farrow, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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