Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales
Elizabeth Castle Jersey

FORTIFICATIONS OF THE ISLAND OF ALDERNEY



Alderney is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide with an area of 3 square miles, making it the third largest island of the Channel Islands after Jersey and Guernsey. Essex Castle was the sole fortification on the island until the 1850 when a total of eighteen forts and gun batteries were constructed to protect the island and its harbour, Braye Harbor.


 1. Fort Corblets was armed with five 32-pounder guns, three 24-pounders and five 8" guns in 1859 in four batteries manned by 59 men. This substantial former Victorian fort is now used partly as a private residence and as holiday accommodation.

 2. Fort Les Hommeaux Florains, on a small island guarding Cat's Bay, was completed in 1859 and was armed with three 68-pounder guns, and four 32-pounders and had barrack accommodation for 67 officers and men. This fort is now in ruins and the causeway from the land has been swept away by the sea.

 3. Fort Quesnard was armed with three 32-pounder guns and four 8" guns in 1859, manned by 55 soldiers. The Victorian barracks at the front are now in use as a private residence.

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Fort Corblets photo Malcolm Butler Fort Les Hommeaux Florains photo Malcolm Butler Fort Quesnard photo Malcolm Butler

 4. Fort Houmet Herbe was built on an island which can be reached via a causeway at low tide. In 1859 it was armed with one 8" howitzer and nine 8" guns. It is now derelict and only the outer walls remain.

 5. Fort Ile de Raz can be reached via a causeway at low tide, and armed with eight 68-pounder guns and two 8" guns in 1859, manned by 64 men. It was fortified by the Germans in World War 2. It has been in use as a private residence but it is now derelict.

 6. The Nunnery. It is thought that the Nunnery was a Roman signal station dating from 350AD. It is 100 feet square with rounded corner towers and built of stone and Roman concrete, and has similarities to the Roman signal station at Scarborough Castle.

Fort Houmet Herbe photo Malcolm Butler Fort Ile de Raz photo Malcolm Butler The Nunnery photo Malcolm Butler

 7. Essex Castle was the first fortification on Alderney, constructed between 1549-1554 by King Henry V111. Although unfinished, work was then stopped by Queen Mary and the building was converted into a private residence. Only the north and west walls of the original fortification still remain after it was partly demolished 1840s and replaced by Fort Essex, a Victorian fortification.

Essex Castle photo Malcolm Butler

 8. Fort Clonque was constructed between 1847-53 on an islet connected by a causeway. It was armed with seven 68-pounder guns, two 32-pounders and one 8" gun with a crew of 60. It was decommissioned in 1929 and is now and managed by the Landmark Trust. At high tide the Fort is cut off from the rest of the island.

 9. Fort Tourgis was completed in 1855, was designed to accommodate 346 men and was originally to be the largest of Alderney’s Victorian forts. In 1859 it was armed with eight 68-pounder guns, ten 32-pounders and fifteen 8" guns in five batteries together with four 13" mortars. It was built to protect Plattes Saline Bay along with Fort Doyle. It was still in use by the army after World War 2, but after being used as a school it fell into disrepair.


 10. Fort Doyle was the earliest fort on Alderney, having been constructed 1793. In 1859 it was armed with one 8" howitzer and three 8" guns.

Fort Clonque photo Malcolm Butler Fort Tourgis photo Malcolm Butler Fort Doyle photo Malcolm Butler

 11. Fort Grosnez was constructed between 1851 - 53 and was armed with two 8" howitzers, six 68-pounder guns, sixteen 32-pounders, and four 24-pounders. It is at the western end of the Western Breakwater which at 4800 feet is the longest breakwater in the UK.


 12. Fort Albert Originally called Fort Touraille, it was renamed after the death of Prince Albert. It was built between 1856 and 1859 and armed with twenty six 68-pounder guns, and seventeen 8" guns. In 1900 the guns were replaced by two 6 inch BL and two rapid-fire 12-pounder guns and the fort was used as the military headquarters on Alderney until 1929.


 13. Fort Château à L’Etoc was built on a narrow headland in 1855, to be armed with five 32-pounder guns, three 24-pounders and five 8" guns. It was designed to protect for the eastern arm of the breakwater, but this was never built. It is currently in use as private apartments.

Fort Grosnez photo Malcolm Butler Fort Albert photo Malcolm Butler Fort Château à L’Etoc photo Malcolm Butler

 
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