THE ABANDONED FORT IN ENGLAND
Fort Gilkicker is a historic fort built at the eastern end of Stokes Bay in Gosport, England. The Palmerston Fort was built in case the French attacked. The fort was disarmed in 1956 and used for storage until 1999, and is currently in a state of disrepair.
The first fortifications on Gilkicker Point were constructed in 1863 as an auxiliary battery to Fort Monckton and consisted of an earthen rampart for eleven guns. But the battery was in danger of collapse under the weight of its own guns, as a result, the Defence Committee proposed a new work to replace it.
The current Fort Gilkicker was constructed between the years 1863 and 1869 as a semi-circular arc with 22 casemates, to be armed with five twelve-inch guns, seventeen ten-inch guns and five nine-inch guns. Eventually it was upgraded with the latest coast defence guns in the late nineteenth century.
During its service history the Fort was modified several times. Before the First World War the walls were further strengthened with substantial earthwork embankments.
Second World War
During the Second World War, Gilkicker used as communications centre for D-Day landings. As a matter of fact over one thousand signals were recorded for the day needing routing to over 1300 addresses. The fort was the site of artillery exercises later in 1953.
In 1956 Coast Defence was abolished and the fort was then used by the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works as a plumbers workshop. Later a substantial wooden signaling station was built on top of the fort, which was continuously manned by former RN Signalmen, and used to monitor movements of vessels and assist in RN signaling training. The fort was later from 1959, used as storage for Submarine spares. The adjacent beach was closed to the public during this period.
Fort Gilkicker is sold
In November 1986 Hampshire County Council bought the fort, but not its surrounding earth bank. The fort was used as a building materials store from 1987 until 1999. Several plans to redevelop the site were made, and dropped later. On 28 July 2022, it was sold to developers for £1.38 million, with plans to turn it into 26 homes; 22 in the former gun emplacements and 4 larger ones in the barrack block.