Page 10 - Spitbank and the Spithead Forts
P. 10

Spit Bank and the Spithead Forts                                                                Solent Papers No.1

         courtyard. A brick arch was added outside for further Preview

                                                                                              A  Roof
                                                                                              B  Gun Deck
                                                                                              C  Courtyard
                                                                 Section A-A through          D  Handling Room
                                                                 Spit Bank Fort               E  Shell Passage
                                                                                              F  Cartridge Store 3
                                                                                              G  Cartridge Store 6
                                                                                              H  P  u  m  p

         One of the armoured embrasures leads to two small     round, a small passage opens on
         buildings cantilevered out from the side of the fort.  to stairs leading down to the magazine. The officer’s
         These were the fighting light positions. They were not  latrine was in an adjacent room. Here and there the tops
         part of the original fort but were added some time before  of the shell lifts can be seen. These were closed by a
         the First World War to house searchlights. Gun position  single leaf door and contained a simple pulley for
         No.4 was walled off completely and was used to store  handling shells. All but two of the cartridge lifts are in
         fuel for the generators. Some of the fuel tanks have been  the cartridge handling room. Other lifts for 6-inch
         kept in position. Further round, within the granite   ammunition were added in 1906-7.
         casemates, there are engine beds which once supported
         four Lister diesel generators. The floor is of black and  An iron staircase leads from the courtyard to the roof
         red tiles. In one shell recess, in a soundproof box, is a  and the original lookout positions, beneath which are
         telephone station. An alarm bell outside this called  galvanised-iron header tanks. A central oval area gives
         together the engine room staff for briefing and       light and access to the basement. In 1941 this had been
         summoned them to Action stations.                     covered in with a barrack block, but this has now been
                                                               removed. A small one-ton derrick and a replica handrail
         Originally, part of the area behind the casemates of guns  have been refitted in their original positions.
         1,2 and 3 was divided into three rooms, the laboratory
         and shifting room (latterly the accumulator room), the  Basement
         officer’s quarters and the officer’s servant’s quarters.  Stairs lead down from the centre of the courtyard to the
         The last two had fireplaces.                          basement. On the right is the pump room, with light
                                                               rooms on either side illuminating the cartridge store,
         Behind each soldiers’ room was the cartridge-handling  which is not served by the light passage itself. Left of
         room, with two issuing hatches opening on to the      the stairs, a doorway opens into a passage and two small
                                                               rooms. The original soldiers’ kitchen, on the left, has
         protection. Inside was another hatch, reached,  as the  been fully restored. To the right was the provisions
         floor was at mezzanine level, by a small ladder. Farther  store, with meat hooks, marble worktop and cupboards.

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