Fort Brockhurst


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Fort Brockhurst
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Gosport (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 59600 02063

Reasons for Designation

The Royal Commission fortifications are a group of related sites established in response to the 1859 Royal Commission report on the defence of the United Kingdom. This had been set up following an invasion scare caused by the strengthening of the French Navy. These fortifications represented the largest maritime defence programme since the initiative of Henry VIII in 1539-40. The programme built upon the defensive works already begun at Plymouth and elsewhere and recommended the improvement of existing fortifications as well as the construction of new ones. There were eventually some 70 forts and batteries in England which were due wholly or in part to the Royal Commission. These constitute a well defined group with common design characteristics, armament and defensive provisions. Whether reused or not during the 20th century, they are the most visible core of Britain's coastal defence systems and are known colloquially as `Palmerston's follies'. All examples are considered of national importance.

Fort Brockhurst, the construction of which had already started prior to the 1859 Royal Commission, is a fine and exceptionally well preserved example of the fortifications of this period, its polygonal form marking an innovation in fortification design. Fort Brockhurst is one of the five forts which made up the Gosport Advanced Line. Together these forts represent a coherent and distinctive group of sites within the overall scheme of mid 19th century coastal defence.


The monument includes Fort Brockhurst, a large and sophisticated mid 19th century brick built fort which lies on the north side of Gosport. Brockhurst is one of a line of five forts, constructed between 1858 and 1862 which together make up the `Gosport Advanced Line', intended to provide landward protection for the great naval and dockyard establishment at Portsmouth. The fort, which is polygonal in overall plan and measures over 430m north- south by 340m east-west, has main ramparts facing WNW. These carried 19 heavy guns above casemates and are flanked by shorter ramparts each of which supported eight guns with a further nine in casemates below. To the rear of the ramparts, which surround a parade ground, lies a circular keep, armed with 20 light weapons and intended as a place of final refuge. Both keep and main fort are surrounded by wet moats into which protrude three caponiers, a double one at the mid point of the main rampart, and single examples at its extremities. Beyond the moat to the front of the fort and reflecting the position of the central caponier is an earthwork redan flanked by a glacis which protects a covered way for riflemen. Even before its completion, Fort Brockhust was overtaken by events and only lack of finance prevented the Gosport Advanced Line being superseded by a line of forts even further west. As a result, Fort Brockhurst was never fully armed and for most of its military life was used for accommodation and storage. In World War II three casemates on the north flank were destroyed by bombing. Excluded from the scheduling are the recent additions to the former Regimental Institute which lie within the parade ground; the ground beneath these is, however, included. The monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Coad, J G, Fort Brockhurst, (1992)
Moore, D, 'Solent Papers' in Fort Brockhurst And The Gomer-Elson Forts, , Vol. 6, (1992)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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