Fort Rowner was constructed between 1858 and 1862 as one of three identical forts to close off the gap between Forts Gomer and Elson and protect the western approach to Portsmouth Harbour. This line of five forts was referred to as the Gosport Advanced lines and was already under construction when the Royal Commission of 1860 reported on the Defences of the United Kingdom. Rowner, Grange and Brockhurst were all constructed of red brick with earth coverings and wet ditches. They each had a keep of last resort at the rear, a feature that was abandoned for later forts.
Gosport Advanced Lines
Fort Rowner is within the perimeter of H.M.S. Sultan and is not open to the public but can be visited during Heritage open days in September of each year. Fort Brockhurst is owned and maintained by English Heritage and can only be visted by arrangement with English Heritage. The rear of the three central forts of the Gosport Advanced Lines can be seen from the Military Road that connected them. Fort Gomer was completely destroyed in 1964. Fort Elson is within the perimeter of the Naval Armament Depot and not visible or accessible.
Fort more information on Fort Rowner see Solent Papers No.11
Fort more information on the Gosport Advanced Lines forts see Solent Papers No.6