Tour of a Palmerston Fort (Fort Nelson)
in the Fort Nelson Picture Gallery
Panoramic views of Fort Nelson
Plan of Fort
The building of the Portsdown Hill Forts
Fort Nelson OS Grid reference SU 606702
Contractor William Tredwell, Parliament Street, Westminster London.
Commenced March 1861
Intended Armament 26 guns
Complement 1 Field Officer, 7 Junior Officers, 172 other ranks, 16 Hospital patients and 2 horses.
Present Use Preserved and a museum by Hampshire County Council in conjunction with The Royal Armouries as a Museum of Artillery.
This fort is situated 250 feet above sea level and is 2,000 yards east of Fort Wallington (centre to centre). The trace is six sided, with deep ditches protected by two storey demi-caponiers on the east and west angles, with a two storey double caponier at the north salient. Above each of the caponiers is a mortar battery for three guns in each. The counterscarp walls remain as originally planned without revetment. The original upper west entrance was approached over a cast iron bridge with a lifting section at the fort end. This entrance gave access to the fort at parade level. The lower west entrance was also defended by a Guthrie lifting bridge and gave access to the fort at barrack block level.
At the rear, or gorge, of the fort is a barrack block for quartering the garrison with a V shaped redan providing officer accommodation and gun positions for flanking fire across the rear of the fort.