Page 28 - Fort Gilkicker
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Fort Gilkicker                                                                                  Solent Papers No.5

                 Fort Gilkicker 1892

                 5                                                 Lake

                                                                         2                     3

           A new lease of Life for Gilkicker Preview

                                                                               1 Married Quarters
                                                                               2 Artillery Store
            This plan of 1892 shows buildings used as married quarters and an  3 Receiving Station
            artillery store to the east of Fort Gilkicker behind the embankment  4 Coastguard Watch House
            which connected it with Fort Monckton.                             5 Experimental Target
                                                                               6 Transmitting Station

           The roof positions at Gilkicker were completed     and this had enabled the re-arming of many of the
           under a separate contract, the contractor being Jaz  existing works. Browndown Battery at Stokes Bay
           Gosling. The authority for this was dated June 1864  received a new lease of life with two 12.5 inch
           and was commenced 17th June 1870. The estimated    R.M.L. guns. At Gilkicker it was impossible to
           cost of Fort Gilkicker in 1869 was £61,395, with a  re-arm with the latest guns because of the restrictive
           further £38,725 needed for providing iron shields the  nature of the casemates.
           actual cost on completion being £58,766, without the
           shields. The contract was completed by a local     As early as 1884 the Defence Committee has
           builder Mr. J. T. Leather.                         recognised the possible danger of a shell entering
                                                              through one gun port and disabling the gun inside. It
           The upper battery                                  was a distinct possibility that this could result in an
           Five gun positions were constructed,  three for    explosion that would also disable the guns in
           11-inch guns of 25 tons on ‘C’ pivots in positions 2,  adjoining casemates and a remote but possible
           3 and 4 and two for 12-inch guns of 25 tons on ‘A’  scenario would cause the explosion to progress
           pivots in positions 1 and 5. The positions were    around the gun floor completely destroying the lower
           numbered from the right (west to east). Each position  gun floor. To strengthen the superstructure and to
           had a look out platform. Between the gun positions  afford greater security from projectiles bursting
           were pairs of chambers, one  for shell and the other  inside the work it was proposed to form traverses in
           for powder, numbered one to four. These were       some of the casemates by filling them with concrete.
           entered through covered passages from the gun      This would group the 10-inch guns in threes. At the
           positions. A shell lift from the basement stores   same time the ditch was to be filled with earth to
           emerged in each pair of magazines. In 1890         give security to the magazine. There is evidence that
           magazine no.7 in the basement was altered so that a  the same idea was put into action at other coast
           powder lift could supply the roof positions via roof  defence works, such as Coalhouse on the Thames.
           magazine number three. In 1888 the roof magazines  The cost of installing the traverses was £700.
           were altered to protect them from shell fire by filling
           the outer portions with concrete.                  In 1891 the General Officer Commanding had
                                                              pointed out that two of the three 11-inch R.M.L.s on
                                                              the roof were in an unsatisfactory position. (It had
           The Imperial Defence Act of 1888 had allotted £3   been reported by the Director of Artillery as early as
           million to construct additional fortifications at the  1872 that eight of the guns at Gilkicker could not
           naval and mercantile ports throughout the Empire

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