Work has started on the first major phase of a renovation programme to protect Shoreham Fort and improve the surrounding area. The repairs are essential if we are to preserve the fabric of the fort and maintain it as a highly valued popular amenity space for the local community.
The work is being funded by English Heritage and Shoreham Port and is being carried out by a specialist firm, The Flintman of Lewes, with additional help by volunteers from the ‘Friends of Shoreham Fort’. This first phase of repairs involves repairing the most damaged areas of the brickwork and flint walls, resetting the granite sett steps and repairs to scoured areas of earth embankments. It is hoped to undertake further phases of repair and improvements to the fort in future years.
Demolition of the former coastguard tower
Demolition of the former coastguard tower at Shoreham Fort is now underway. The tower has been out of use for several years and is in a very poor state. The top part of the tower was removed two years ago for safety reasons and it has been the intention ever since to demolish the rest of it as and when funding could be secured. Funding has now been secured by the ‘Friends of Shoreham Fort’ from Adur District Council’s ‘Pot of Gold Fund’ and these funds have been matched by Shoreham Port Authority. The works have approval from English Heritage and the contract to pull it down has been let to Edburton Contractors Ltd.
The tower will have to be taken down carefully to protect the brickwork of the original ammunition magazine underneath, which is similar in design to the one on the north eastern corner of the fort. Once it has gone, the magazine area can be renovated and a useful space created for the Friends of Shoreham Fort to use as an exhibition area.
Shoreham Port and Adur District Council are also considering how the rest of the site could be improved with such measures as better signage and pathways, upgrading of the car park and toilet block and introduction of information boards about the local area (for instance on the history of the film industry on Shoreham Beach, the importance of the Port today and on the wildlife that can been seen in the local area). A more ambitious plan in the long term is to recreate the barrack block in its original position to provide new space for community use and may be a café.
The fort was completed in 1857 by the Palmerston Government as part of our defences against a potential invasion by Emperor Napoleon lll of France. It is now designated as an ancient monument and there are strict rules on how and what can be done to it. The former Coastguard tower was added in two phases inthe 1960's and 70's.
The smaller watch tower to the east of the Fort was renovated in 2009 and is now used by the National Coastwatch Institution and staffed by volunteers who provide a valuable watch service.
The fort is owned by Shoreham Port Authority and the car park and toilets are owned and managed by Adur District Council.
The restoration of the fort is part of the Port Masterplan and also part of the wider Shoreham Harbour Regeneration Project being delivered jointly by Adur District Council, Brighton & Hove City Council, West Sussex County Council and Shoreham Port Authority.
For further information please visit the following websites: