Page 16 - Portsdown Defences
P. 16

Victorian Forts                                             Portsmouth                       13

                                         Farlington Redoubt

          Commenced            1862                                 Armament
          Cost                  £                                   1876 Proposed 14 x 64pr RML on travelling carriages
                                                                        kept at Purbrook.
          Map Reference        SU 687065 Portsdown Hill /           1884 6 x 64pr. 71 cwt on parapet carriages,
          Position             Northern approaches                           2 x 64pr 58cwt on Moncrieff carriages,
                                                                             1 x 4-inch B.L.
                                                                    1886 Proposed 5 x 64pr R.M.L. 3 x 7-inch R.B.L.
          Type                 Land Front / Polygonal               1893 Mounted 7 x 64 pr. RML
          Ditch                Dry                                            Required to complete 1 x 4-inch BL
          Guns                 18                                   1898  Mounted 1 x 4-inch BL
                                                                                      7 x 64 pr. RML
          Barrack Accom. 0                                          1907  Disarmed
          Present use          Site remains

                                                                    Caponiers           1
          History              Outpost to Purbrook / Never fully
          Disposal             Demolished 1970s                     Counterscarp        3
          Condition            Gas company storage facility         galleries
          Access               Private land
                                                                    Haxo casemates none
          Sources              Solent Papers No 3  Garry Mitchell
                                                                    Moncrieff Pits      2

          History and Description

           Farlington Redoubt was to be an outwork of Fort Purbrook on its eastern side commanding the eastern approach to
           Portsdown Hill which could not be swept by the guns from Fort Purbrook itself.  It was at the extreme eastern end of the
           Portsdown Line of forts with its front face towards Bedhampton, its right and left faces embracing either brow of the hill
           and its base resting on Fort Purbrook at its immediate rear.  A tunnel was to have been constructed to allow gun crews to
           move into the redoubt under cover from attacking forces. Farlington Redoubt, like Crookhorn Redoubt, was to have been
           constructed with its own magazine and barracks. With a proposed armament of eighteen guns  it was to have two mortar
           batteries, each holding three mortars, in the angles of the ditches behind its east caponier. Substantial underground works
           were envisaged to protect the ditches, which were dry. Countermining was therefore possible. It appears that once more
           costs prevented the work being constructed as planned. It appears that the barrack casemates were not constructed,
           instead the work was prepared as a D shaped rampart with traverses and shell recesses, a dry ditch but no counterscarps.
           The fort was to be manned in time of attack by gun crews from the nearby Fort Purbrook who were to access the work
           via a connecting tunnel and covered way. A main magazine to hold mixed natures of projectiles was situated on the
           parade. By 1891 the work was complete with a mounted armament of five 64pr R.M.L.71 cwt guns on parapet carriages
           and two 64pr R.M.L. 58cwt guns on Moncrieff disappearing carriages. At the south west salient was a 4inch B.L. gun.

           The Redoubt survived until after the Second World War when the site was excavated as a quarry. Finally the last portions
           of the fort were demolished in the 1970s to make way for an underground storage facility for British Gas. The site is
           extant and recognisable but nothing remains but the pit in which the fort sat.

           There are rumours of the continued existence of the connecting tunnel that was built from Purbrook to Crookhorn and on
           to Farlington Redoubt, although this has not been confirmed. It is possible that the original access to the tunnel is to be
           found at the end of the main caponier in Purbrook.

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