Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Winchester (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 60696 07203


SU 60 NW BOARHUNT 13/10 Fort Nelson 22.12.71 I One of a series of forts (Wallington (now demolished), Nelson, Southwick, Widley and Purbrook) along the chalk ridge of Portsdown Hill, built for the defence of Portsmouth against landward attack in the 1860s, and known as Palmerston's Folly. 1862-72. Brick walls of English bond, the outer face of the defensive walls being of flint with horizontal and vertical bands of brickwork and a blind arcade at the upper level. The structure is partly within and above the natural ridge; a polygonal plan with four vertical faces to the deep dry ditch, a fire step, behind the parapet, and two-storeyed caponiers at the three corners (to give raking fire along the ditches). Within this outer framework is an embankment with open gun emplacements at the top, and a pair of Haxo casemates at the south end of the perimeter. Below the central parade ground there are brick-arched passageways, ammunition stores, staircases to the several parts, and behind the caponiers sunken embrasures for mortars. The rear (south) of the fort has a set of barracks surrounding a redan (triangular court), and the south face is a high brick wall, originally protected by the continuous ditch (now filled). There is an entrance on each side of the central pointed projection, once approached by a drawbridge, having the only architectural feature, comprising a bold Norman doorway of stone with recessed orders. The fort contains many interesting details of fortification design, and remains virtually unaltered, except for the making of new vehicular entrances, when the fort became used as a store. The forts were never attacked, and Nelson became neglected, but is being restored as a museum. Ancient monument.

Listing NGR: SP6397414673


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

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 12 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/02024/01
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David Easton. Source Historic England Archive
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