NOS. 1-2 UPTON FORT (FORMER CARETAKER'S QUARTERS), FORMER ARTILLERY STORE, AND FORMER SMITH'S AND FITTER'S SHOPS, UPTON FORT

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1393407
Date first listed:
09-Jul-2009
Statutory Address:
NOS. 1-2 UPTON FORT (FORMER CARETAKER'S QUARTERS), FORMER ARTILLERY STORE, AND FORMER SMITH'S AND FITTER'S SHOPS, UPTON FORT

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
NOS. 1-2 UPTON FORT (FORMER CARETAKER'S QUARTERS), FORMER ARTILLERY STORE, AND FORMER SMITH'S AND FITTER'S SHOPS, UPTON FORT

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

County:
Dorset
District:
West Dorset (District Authority)
Parish:
Osmington
National Grid Reference:
SY 74050 81564

Reasons for Designation

Nos.1-2 Upton Fort, the former artillery store, and former Smith's and Fitter's shops at Upton Fort have been designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Rare survivals of little-altered support buildings of the early 1900s which form part of a very complete surviving coastal battery site * They are significant components which complement the elements such as the gun emplacements, magazines and earthwork fortifications that are proposed for scheduling * Together they give a greater meaning to a complex of strong historic interest and are an evocative reminder of tragic world events

Details

OSMINGTON

1788/0/10007 NOS. 1-2 UPTON FORT (FORMER CARETAKER' 09-JUL-09 S QUARTERS), FORMER ARTILLERY STORE, A ND FORMER SMITH'S AND FITTER'S SHOPS, UPTON FORT

GV II Military support buildings at western end of Upton Fort, a coastal artillery battery. Constructed in 1901-03 with minor mid-C20 alterations. MATERIALS: They are built of brick with concrete dressings. All have flat concrete roofs and rendered brick stacks. The windows are timber sashes with glazing bars. PLAN: Group of single storey, ancillary buildings located within an area defined by a protective earthen bank, and a blast wall on the south side. They comprise the former Caretaker's Quarters (Nos. 1-2 Upton Fort); an artillery store and attached paint store which were converted to a cookhouse during World War II; Smith's and Fitter's shops; and a generator room. There was a latrine block to the south east which has been partly demolished. Further to the east are two additional contemporary buildings: a former cookhouse and a shelter, which are now dwellings. There have been some external alterations - many of the windows have been replaced, and the buildings do not currently meet the criteria for listing.

EXTERIOR: NOS.1-2 UPTON FORT is a pair of semi-detached dwellings that are H-shaped in plan. A small extension added to the north west side of No.1 in the later C20 is not of interest. The front (north) elevation is symmetrical comprising a central section with four windows and a veranda supported on cast-iron columns. This is flanked by bays that break forwards, each with a pair of sash windows to the front (north) and an entrance door in the return. Immediately to the west of the former Caretaker's Quarters is an L-shaped building consisting of a rectangular range which is marked as ARTILLERY STORE on a 1905 plan of the site and a smaller block at its south east end which was originally a paint store. The building was converted to a cookhouse during World War II. It is built in English Bond and has sash windows throughout and all the openings are fitted with iron bars. The north east elevation has an off-centre timber door, flanked by small windows with ventilators above, and to the far right is a larger sash window. The east and west sides have matching windows, each with a ventilator above, while the south elevation is blind but has two ventilators set high in the wall. The former paint store is accessed by a door in its north wall.

The former SMITH'S AND FITTER'S SHOPS are located to the north of Nos.1-2. It is a rectangular building with a flat concrete roof and a louvered lantern to the western half. The main elevation faces south and has three sash windows and two entrances; the one to the left has been widened but retains its glazed light above the doorway. A conservatory clad in plastic corrugated sheeting, which is not of interest, links this building to a roughly square structure to the east which was used as a generator room (currently a dwelling) during World War II. It has double doors to the east elevation and single sash windows in the south and north walls. A building is shown here in 1905, marked as an Armament Office.

INTERIOR: Although not inspected internally, the 1905 plan of the battery indicates that NOS.1-2 UPTON FORT (Caretaker's Quarters) each comprised two bedrooms, a living room and scullery, with toilets and coal stores to the rear. The former ARTILLERY STORE has a large principal room with three smaller rooms leading off it. The former has a large cast iron range against its west wall, but it does not appear to be in situ. The interior of the SMITH'S AND FITTER'S SHOPS was originally divided into two parts with a Smith's Shop in the western half and a Fitter's Shop to the east, although the internal partition has been removed.

HISTORY: By the mid-C19 Portland had become an important naval port; its harbour the base for the Royal Navy and home, at various times, to the Channel and Home Fleets. Towards the end of the C19 a programme to strengthen England's coastal defences was established to meet possible aggression from France and to further protect the British fleet which was vulnerable to torpedo attack. A battery for long range, breech-loading guns was built at Upton in 1903. It was strategically placed above Weymouth Bay to protect the eastern approaches to Portland Harbour. Upton's first weapons - two 6in breech-loading guns - were mounted in February 1903, followed by two 9.2in guns between July and September that year. After World War I the 9.2in guns were removed and the battery was left in charge of a caretaker. Upton Fort was updated and re-armed in 1940 to operate as an emergency battery. The defences were strengthened, 6in naval type guns were installed, and two Coastal Artillery Search Lights were also added. The battery was manned by the 522nd (Dorset) Coastal Regiment, and the men were accommodated in Nissen huts at the northern end of the site. All of the ancillary buildings were re-used during World War II, although the functions of some changed, for example, the Caretaker's Quarters became an officers' and a sergeants' mess, and the artillery store was converted to a cookhouse. Upton Fort was the first of the Portland defences to enter care and maintenance following the reorganisation of defences in November 1943, and was finally taken out of service in 1956.

SOURCES: A. Saunders, Channel Defences (1997), pp 53-55. English Heritage C. Dobinson, Twentieth Century Fortifications - Coast Artillery, 1900-1956 (2000), vol. 1, pp 176-81. Council for British Archaeology M. Anderton, Twentieth Century Military Recording Project: World War Two Coastal Batteries (2000), Monuments Protection Programme, English Heritage P. Bellamy, Upton Fort, Osmington, Dorset - Assessment (2004), Terrain Archaeology

REASON FOR DESIGNATION: Nos.1-2 Upton Fort, the former artillery store, and former Smith's and Fitter's shops at Upton Fort are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Rare survivals of little-altered support buildings of the early 1900s that form part of a very complete surviving coastal battery site * They are significant components which complement the elements such as the gun emplacements, magazines and earthwork fortifications which have been designated as a scheduled monument * Together they give a greater meaning to what is a complex of strong historic interest and an evocative reminder of tragic world events

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
505255
Legacy System:
LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Bellamy, P, Upton Fort, Osmington, Dorset - Assessment, (2004)
Dobinson, C , Twentieth Century Fortifications in England Volume II Coast Artillery176-181
Saunders, A , Channel Defences, (1997), 53-55
Other
Anderton, M , Twentieth Century Military Recording Project: World War Two Coastal Batteries, 2000,

Legal

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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