Notes: Follow signs to Gosport and the fort is visible to the left on the main road. Fort is only opened rarely - currently only on the second Saturday of every month. Car park and on road parking available.
WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?
Well preserved and largely unaltered defences dating from the Victorian era. The fort and keep are surrounded by flooded moat and the majority of the ramparts can be walked.
1. Fort Brockhurst was originally designed to house a 300 man garrison.
Built in the 1850s as part of an ‘advanced line’ of forts to protect Gosport, Fort Brockhurst was obsolete before it was completed. The major fortification building of the 1860s/70s sought to replace the fort but cost considerations forced retention.
HISTORY OF FORT BROCKHURST
Forts Gomer, Grange, Rowner, Brockhurst and Elson formed the 'Gosport Advanced Line' built in the early 1850s at a range of 2-3 miles from the Portsmouth docks aimed at preventing at an enemy force proceeding down the Gosport pennisula and bombarding the Royal Navy's primary dockyard. Built to a polygonial shape with caponiers to protect the ramparts and vaulted casemated guns, the fort represented the forefront of fortification design (which by this stage had moved away from the star/bastioned design of forts such as Tilbury and the Royal Citadel) whilst the rounded keep and flooded moat took inspiration from earlier ages. The five forts were situated within firing range of each other and thus whilst not a continuous physical line, they were able to fire on any attacker attempting to breach the defences.
The 1860 Royal Commission, which initiated a massive building programme of forts around all Royal Navy dockyards as a response to the threat from Napoleon III, suggested replacement of the five Gosport forts with fortifications further West. This was rejected on cost grounds and Fort Brockhurst, along with her sister forts of the Gosport Advanced Line, remained in commission. The invasion fears came to nothing and for most of the life of Fort Brockhurst it was simply used as accommodation for military personnel. Other than some bomb damage sustained during World War II it never saw action and was released by the military in the 1960s.