Reasons for Designation
Shorham Fort belongs to the class of military installation termed 'batteries' - self contained positions where guns were mounted for purposes of offensive or defensive action; the objective being primarily to bring guns to bear on a specific area, to provide the appropriate range and to protect the guns (and crew) during action. Ammunition was usually stored behind the rampart (the area known as the 'gorge') and by the later 19th century, in purpose built magazines. As a source of information for developments in military technology and as indications of the ebb and flow of international politics, all examples exhibiting a significant degree of preservation are considered worthy of protection.
Shoreham Fort is a good example of a 19th century artillery fort, which survives well. It retains upstanding structures and below-ground archaeological information relating to the use and history of the site. Shoreham Fort marks an important stage in the development of 19th century fortification following improvements in heavy guns with increased range. The design of the surrounding Carnot wall, following the principles of the French General Lazare Nicholas Marguerite Carnot (1753-1823) on active defence, is of particular interest.
The monument includes a 19th century artillery fort, known variously as Shoreham Fort, Kingston Redoubt and the Old Fort, surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated overlooking Shoreham Harbour, at the mouth of the River Adur. The fort comprises a polygonal bastion facing the sea and is constructed of red brick and pebble with details in granite. There is a dry moat on the seaward side, a surrounding Carnot wall with three caponiers at the salient angles, sally ports and gun positions. There are mountings for six guns on terrepleins, the rings and rails of which survive, with magazines below. The Carnot wall is up to 3.7m high with rifle slits and a rounded top to make it difficult for assailants to mount. On the northern side of the fort are the foundations of the barracks, which were demolished in 1960.
Shoreham Fort was completed in 1857 and was designed to guard the entrance to Shoreham Harbour. It represents a significant phase of experimental fortification, following 19th century developments in heavy guns with increased range. The fort was manned by the 1st Sussex Volunteer Artillery of Eastern Division, Royal Artillery, during the 19th century. In the Second World War an emergency coastal battery with a 6-inch ex-naval gun was mounted south-west of the fort. The fort was restored between 1977 and 1979.
The monument excludes the coastguard tower and public conveniences on the west side of the fort, the modern surface of the car park, all modern fences and fence posts, gates and gate posts. However the ground beneath all these features is included.
Sources: West Sussex HER 3739 - MWS839. NMR TQ20SW3, TQ20SW87. PastScape 398937, 1426506.
Sussex OS Maps (1:2500): 1873, 1898, 1912 and 1930.
Baines, G, Shoreham Fort, retrieved from http://www.shorehamfort.co.uk/page3.html on 8th March 2010