Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales

THE SPITHEAD FORTS


The Spithead forts were built in the Solent in the 1860's to protect Portsmouth from bombardment from the sea, at the same time as the Gosport and Portsdown land forts were built. Horse Sands, No Mans Land and St Helens Forts were built 1865-80, and Spitbank was started 2 years later. Ryde Fort was abandoned shortly after construction started becouse of unstable foundations.

Horse Sands and No Mans Land are identical at 200 foot in diameter and fully armour plated. The other 2 are slightly smaller at 150 foot diameter with iron plating on the front only.

The forts had complements of 30 men. They cost two to three times as much to build as the land forts, due to the difficulties involved in constructing foundations 20 to 30 foot under water on sand banks. They are privately owned.


No Mans Land Fort photo Bob Le-Roi Spitbank Fort photo Charles Taylor Spitbank Fort photo Charles Taylor
Spitbank Fort photo Charles Taylor Spitbank Fort photo Charles Taylor St Helen's Fort photo The Forelands Homepage
No Mans Land Fort photo Steve Johnson Horse Sands Fort photo Steve Johnson St Helen's Fort photo Steve Johnson

 
© Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales