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Fort Gilkicker

Hob Uid: 462041
Location :
Hampshire
Gosport
Gosport
Grid Ref : SZ6067097510
Summary : A semi-circular casemated coastal battery at the east end of Stokes Bay, facing out to sea to the west of Fort Monckton. It was begun in 1863 and completed in 1870. Originally it mounted 22 guns behind an iron shield, with five on the roof. The front was later blocked and revetted with an earth bank. The fort and its armaments went through a number of changes, for example the battery on the roof was altered in 1898-1904 with two six inch and two 9.2 inch guns. There was a phase of reconstruction between 1904 and 1906, with the old breech loading guns being dismounted in 1907. In the First World War the fort was briefly rearmed with a 6-pounder heavy anti aircraft gun and a 3-inch gun, armaments were again updated in the Second World War with the addition of Bofors guns and searchlights (Searchlight Battery TG03 6). It also played a part in the "D-Day" landings when it was used as a communications centre for shipping. The barracks in the gorge are largely intact. The monument is Scheduled. In 2007, It is not currently open to the public.
More information : (SZ 607 975) Fort Gilkicker (NAT) (1)

Fort Gilkicker (SZ 607 975)

A battery had been built on Gilkicker Point in about 1796 and in 1859 it was recommended that this be strengthened to form part of the defences guarding the anchorage. Instead of simple strengthening, it was replaced entirely by a new casemated work of granite to carry 22 guns, with another 5 on the roof. Within the work was a barrack for 5 officers, 4 NCOS and 98 men. Work began in June 1863 but in the following year the contractor went bankrupt and all work stopped. The usual wrangle ensued, and it took eighteen months to sort out the legal aspects and advertise for a fresh tender. Eventually, in June 1865, a new contractor was appointed and work began afresh; but by this time the plans had been revised to allow for iron shields in the casemates and for the roof guns. It was completed in 1871, though the roof positions were never installed.

In 1872 the Director of Artillery asked for designs of traversing platform for 12in 35-ton RML guns to be installed here, but the work must have been low on the priority list, since a return of 1880 shows only four 9in 12-ton guns mounted. The 12in materialised in due course however, and were installed by 1885.

Thereafter there was no improvement in armament. When the RMLS fell obsolete, Gilkicker remained unarmed and eventually,like most of the defence works in the area, passed to the Royal Navy. (2)

In use by the Ministry of Defence. (3)

A temporary fort had been built on Gilkicker Point between 1779 and 1782 (See Illus card 1). Although planned for some time, the threatened French invasion of 1779 spurred the authorities into action. It comprised an earth bank 6ft thick kept in place by fascines. On the illustration, the dotted lines indicate the prescribed military textbook shape, the solid line indicate changes due to local topography. It was completed by 1782 when it mounted 24 guns. The first battery was built on the site in the 1850s when it was regarded as being an outwork of Fort Monckton (see SZ 69 NW 21). The battery was rhomboidal, the short side facing South-West, mounting 6 guns in 1856 and 12 in 1858, but it was clearly not able to withstand a bombardment. The Royal Commission Report of 1860 resulted in the redesign. (See Authority 2). (See illustrations 2 and 3 for its construction). (4)

Fort Gilkicker. (5-6)

Fort Gilkicker has a useful website devoted to it, which is affiliated to that of the Palmerston Forts Society. The website contains a timeline, history of development and use of the fort, and a detailed account of its changing armaments. (7)

David Moore has produced a monograph on Fort Gilkicker, with a full history of the site to 1990, including plans, cross sections, elevations photographs and views of the fort at different stages of its development. (8)

Documented. (9)

The site of Second World War searchlight battery no. TG03 6 at Gilkicker, located at Grid Reference SZ 607974 (Military Grid Reference Q 041172). During August/September 1941 35 Searchlight Regiment ordered its batteries to redeploy to the existing sites in area TG03 as part of the general declustering of lights and rearrangement into Indicator, Killer and GDA belts. The sites were redesignated as such, but no record of what type each became has been established. The author has drawn upon War Office documents: Reference WO 166/3052, 35 SL Regt Op Order 105. (10)

Searchlight sites typically comprised a small ring-ditch to provide the crew with shelter during an air raid, a predictor emplacement for calculating the height and range of targets, a light anti-aircraft machine gun pit, a generator and hutted accommodation for the crew. During the Second World War searchlights were manned by the Royal Artillery and were under the control of the Army's Anti-Aircraft Command. (11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10 000 1978
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Coast defences of England and Wales, 1856-1956
Source details :
Page(s) : 140
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : 20th century defences in Britain : an introductory guide
Source details :
Page(s) : 63
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : no.12
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : 02/02/1983
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Portsmouth Papers No 30 Western Defences of Portsmouth Harbour 1400-1800 Dec 1979 (G H Williams)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 2,500 1933
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 30/09/1988
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : David Moore. 2006. Fort Gilkicker <> [Accessed 08-JAN-2007].
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Source Number : 8
Source : Fort Gilkicker
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) : no.5
Source Number : 9
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 1. Anti-aircraft artillery : England's air defence gunsites, 1914-46
Source details :
Page(s) : 287
Figs. :
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Source Number : 10
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England: Searchlight sites in WWII a sample list
Source details :
Page(s) : 22-Mar
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1863 to 1870
Monument End Date : 1870
Monument Start Date : 1863
Monument Type : Coastal Battery, Casemate
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Alterations 1904-1907
Monument End Date : 1907
Monument Start Date : 1904
Monument Type : Coastal Battery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : First World War
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1914
Monument Type : Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Additions 1939-1945
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Anti Aircraft Battery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : From 1941
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Searchlight Battery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Used D-Day
Monument End Date : 1944
Monument Start Date : 1944
Monument Type : Telecommunication Building
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 594
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SZ 69 NW 22
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 238782
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 462038
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 462047
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SZ 69 NW 22
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1983-02-02
End Date : 1983-02-02
Associated Activities : GOSPORT HISTORIC CENTRE
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31