- Fort Nelson, Portsmouth
:"This article is about Fort Nelson near Fareham, England. For other places with a similar name, see
Fort Nelson, in the
civil parishof Boarhuntin the English county of Hampshire, is one of five defensive forts built on the summit of Portsdown Hillin the 1860s, overlooking the important naval base of Portsmouth. It is now part of the Royal Armouries, housing their collection of artillery.
Fort Nelson is one of five Portsdown Forts. Built as a result of the 1859 Royal Commission by Lord Palmerston to prevent a French land attack, on the
Portsmouthdockyard only 8 kilometres away, because the older Hilsea Linesat the bottom of the ridge were considered insufficient. A series of 5 forts were built along the 7 miles (10 km) of the ridge. From west to east they are forts Fareham, Wallington, Nelson, Southwick, Widley and Purbrook. The line was finished off at the eastern end with Crookhorn Redoubt and Farlington Redoubt. A garrison of around 200 volunteers accompanied by regular army officers would have manned the fort in time of war. Fort Nelson remained in some use by the MOD until it was abandoned in the 1950s.
Following a fire caused by vandalism in 1988 it was reclaimed by the MOD and sold to
Hampshire County Councilfor £50,000. Hampshire County Council restored it at a cost of £3-4million, and it opened to the public in 1994, becoming part of the Royal Armouries in 1995. It houses their collection of artillery, including:
*The 'Boxted Bombard', an English wrought iron cannon from around 1450, which was powerful enough to fire a 60 kg granite ball
*The 'Muhammed's Great Gun', a Turkish wrought iron cannon from around 1400s, which was powerful enough to fire a 680 kg (1,500 lb) granite stones with a diameter of 762 mm (30 in). (Used in
Great Turkish Bombard) (World's first supergun.)
*French field guns captured at the
Battle of Waterloo
*Fortress guns from India and China.
*Parts of the famous
Iraqi' Project Babylon' Gulf War-era supergun.
The fort covers around 19 acres and is open all year round, with no charges except for some special events. Live firing demonstrations are held every day, costumed guides, video presentations, and visitors are able to explore the tunnels that run below the fort connecting the magazines with gun emplacements. There are displays demonstrating the living and working conditions of the soldiers who manned the fort, and views over
Portsmouth, the Solent, Hayling Islandand Gosport, with the Isle of Wightbeyond.
* [http://www.royalarmouries.org/visit-us/fort-nelson The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson - Official Site] . Page retrieved at 01:53am 05 May 2008.
* [http://www.stvincent.ac.uk/WfS/Tourism/Portsmouth/NavDef/FtNelson/ Portsmouth Naval and Defence Heritage] . Page retrieved at 11.30am 29 July 2005.
* [http://www.fareham.gov.uk/town/activities/places/fortnelson.asp Fareham Borough Council page on Fort Nelson] . Page retrieved at 12.20pm 29 July 2005.
* [http://www.royalarmouries.org/visit-us/fort-nelson The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson - Official Site] .
* [http://www.stvincent.ac.uk/WfS/Tourism/Portsmouth/NavDef/FtNelson/ The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson - Guide]
* [http://www.fareham.gov.uk/town/activities/places/fortnelson.asp Fareham Borough Council page on Fort Nelson]
* [http://www.palmerstonforts.org.uk/ Palmerston Forts Society]
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