Fort Gilkicker


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.

Between 1863 and 1869, we constructed the current Fort Gilkicker as a semicircular arc with 22 casemates. We armed it with five twelve-inch guns, seventeen ten-inch guns, and five nine-inch guns. Eventually, we upgraded it with the latest coast defense guns in the late nineteenth century.
Throughout its service history, we modified the Fort several times. Before the First World War, we further strengthened the walls with substantial earthwork embankments.

Second World War

During the Second World War, Gilkicker served as a communications center for the D-Day landings. In fact, we recorded over one thousand signals for the day, requiring routing to over 1300 addresses. The fort was the site of artillery exercises later in 1953.

In 1956, Coast Defense abolished it, and the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works repurposed the fort as a plumbers’ workshop. Subsequently, we constructed a substantial wooden signaling station on top of the fort. Former RN Signalmen continuously manned it, monitoring vessel movements and assisting in RN signaling training. From 1959 onward, we used the fort for storing Submarine spares. During this period, the adjacent beach remained closed to the public.


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.

Built 1863 – 1869
Abandoned 1999
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