27 August 2011

The Friends of Shoreham Fort have been busy with their work to make the fort a more pleasant and attractive visitor attraction for the whole community and are currently working very hard on digging out the overgrown ‘terreplein’ area, where the big guns used to be mounted.  The ‘terreplein’, or gun platform, will then be covered in a weed suppressor fabric and several tons of shingle, returning to its original 1857 appearance.

The Friends of Shoreham Fort secured Adur Council’s ‘Pot of Gold’ award for £15,000 to put towards the cost of demolishing the modern (1975) coastguard tower mounted on top of the fort’s western magazine and this sum has been matched by Shoreham Port.   This has enabled planning of the demolition work to begin and we hope to secure English Heritage’s approval to remove the tower before the end of the year. 

The western magazine is made up of three chambers where shells and gunpowder for the big guns on the terreplein would have been stored. We hope eventually that the three chambers can be used by the Friends of Shoreham Fort as an exhibition/museum facility so that visitors will be able to gain an insight into how the fort looked and worked on site rather than having to go home to look it up on the world-wide web.

Gary Baines, founder of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, said “We are delighted at the financial support we have received from Shoreham Port, English Heritage and Adur’s Pot of Gold towards the restoration of this fantastic historical monument, not to mention the tremendous work of the Port  in organising all the permissions required and the large restoration contracts.”

Tony Parker, Shoreham Port’s Director of Engineering, said “The Fort was an important prototype for the design of the many other mid-Victorian coastal defences around our coasts and as such is a gem of historical military architecture.  The port is very pleased to be able to contribute towards its restoration as a valuable community and educational asset”.

Friends of Shoreham Fort are hosting a family fun day and sponsored walk on Sunday 4th September 2011.