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Fort Purbrook, That Part in Portsmouth Church Parish

A Grade II* Listed Building in Purbrook, City of Portsmouth

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8529 / 50°51'10"N

Longitude: -1.0377 / 1°2'15"W

OS Eastings: 467837

OS Northings: 106372

OS Grid: SU678063

Mapcode National: GBR BCL.GGL

Mapcode Global: FRA 86QV.7KV

Entry Name: Fort Purbrook, That Part in Portsmouth Church Parish

Listing Date: 30 October 1969

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1387127

English Heritage Legacy ID: 475031

Location: Portsmouth, PO6

County: City of Portsmouth

Electoral Ward/Division: Purbrook

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Portsdown Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

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Listing Text


PORTSMOUTH

SU60NE PORTSDOWN HILL
774-1/2/84 Fort Purbrook, that part in
30/10/69 Portsmouth CP

II*

Fort. c1860. By William Crossman (Capt. Royal Engineers). One
of a series of forts (Wallington (now demolished), Nelson,
Southwick, Widley and Purbrook (qv) along the chalk ridge of
Portsdown Hill. Built for the defence of Portsmouth against
landward attacks in the 1860s and known as Palmerston's
Follies. Brick walls in English bond, the outer face of the
defensive walls are of flint with horizontal and vertical
bands of brickwork and a blind arcade at the upper level.
PLAN: the structure is partly within and above the natural
ridge; a polygonal plan with 4 vertical faces to the deep dry
ditch, a firing step behind the parapet and 2-storey caponiers
at north-east and north-west corners (to give raking fire
along the ditches). Within this open framework is an
embankment with open gun emplacements at the top. Below the
central parade ground there are deep underground tunnels with
access from the centre of the north face of the barrack block,
the entrance within the musketry gallery with firing slots and
pitched brick roof with circular brick ventilation stack and
cone. Passages lead to ammunition stores, expense magazines,
staircases and caponiers. The tunnel to the north-east
caponier descends through exposed chalk and flint. North-west
tunnel is brick lined. Behind the caponier position are sunken
embrasures for mortars.
EXTERIOR: the main entrances, barrack block with internal
courtyard, stores and stable blocks are positioned on the
south side facing Portsdown Hill road. The main entrances are
approached by inclined roads. Each of the 2 entrances are set
within a thick brick curtain wall with Norman-style entrance
with round arch and attached columns, moulded dripstone with
dropped bosses. To right of right hand entrance are 9 low
level firing slots and further right at higher level are 12
paired and 1 single firing slots, each with recessed raked
brick jambs and flat concrete lintel. To left of entrance are
2 bays each with on ground and first floor a 4-paned casement
set under round brick arch and on each side of casement a
firing slot set under flat concrete lintel. Each front face of
the V shaped barrack block has 7 similar bays with similar
windows and firing slots to ground and first floors. Large
castellated brick parapet and earth filled roof set on vaulted
brickwork. The fort contains many interesting details of


fortification design. This fort is similar to Fort Widley (qv)
except for the V shaped barrack block and has 2 caponiers
instead of 3.
The fort is mainly within the boundary of Havant District
Council and is accordingly listed there also. The southernmost
part of the fort is within the Portsmouth City Council
boundary. Scheduled Ancient Monument.
(Portsmouth City Museums: Corney A: Fort Widley and the Great
Forts on Portsdown: Portsmouth; Lloyd DW: Buildings of
Portsmouth and its Environs: Portsmouth: 1974-: 80; The
Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Lloyd DW: Hampshire and the
Isle of Wight: Harmondsworth: 1967-: 387; Pamphlet Guide `Fort
Purbrook': Ft Purbrook Activity Cntr).


Listing NGR: SU6610802158

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