Page 14 - Fort Gilkicker
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Fort Gilkicker                                                                                  Solent Papers No.5


                                                                                  Powder Lift

           ascended to the casemates above. Recesses in the   Iron doors, which were clad with wood on the inside,
           shell passage contained vertical shell lifts, two feet in  closed them off when the lamps had been inserted.
           diameter, cut into the piers and emerging from them  The earlier light boxes in the floor of the veranda
           on the gun floor towards the rear of the casemates.  which illuminated the shell passage were covered
           Four of these shell lifts continued up to the upper  over but the York stone slabs remained.
           battery on the roof. (The ‘Memorandum’ stated that
           one shell lift for each gun and about two cartridge  The 1869 Committee noted that at that time
           lifts for three guns were to be provided, the place of  alterations were in progress ‘ admit of the lamps
           the third lift being occupied by the lamp for lighting  being inserted into the light closets along tunnels
           the powder passage.) There were seventeen cartridge  perforated through the exterior walls of the
           lifts and eleven shell lifts but by 1890 some of the  casemates, and crossing the shell passage..’
           cartridge lifts had been converted to lamp housings
           leaving twelve cartridge lifts.                    The Committee was of the opinion that such expense
                                                              was   unnecessary.    They  stated   that ‘..this
           The lifts for both the cartridges and the shells were  precaution is in excess of what is necessary to guard
           thirteen feet in height, measured from floor to floor.  against accident, as we (the committee) see no
           Speaking tubes at each lift enabled the gun        objection to the lamps when lighted and with their
           detachments to communicate with the men in the     doors closed being carried along the shell passage,
           passages beneath. The lighting in the powder passage  deposited directly in lamp closets, made for their
           was provided by lamps passed down through          reception, and there shut up before the shell stores or
           apertures in York stone slabs set in the floor above.  magazines are opened for the service of the guns.’
           The shell passage, shell stores and cartridge stores
           were illuminated by lamps passed through tunnels   This would, in the opinion of the committee, not be
           from the outside of the casemates at parade level.  objectionable as powder would not be carried along

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