ON THIS MONTH – (March)

The Morning Cronicle 15th March 1854

At Littlehampton defensible barracks and a five gun battery capable of containg forty men and two officers, and the proper complement of non-commissioned officers, has just been completed on the west bank of the harbour. Messrs. Locke and Nesham, of 68 Theobald’s-road, London, built the barracks under the superintendence of Captain Fenwick and Mr Bryson, foreman of works in the Royal Engineer Department. A glacis is in the course of erection by Mr Bushby in the rear of the barracks.

Building news and architectural review, Volume 8 14th March 1862

PORTSMOUTH DISTRICT.—For the several works and repairs to the fortifications, barracks, and other buildings required by the War Department at the places undermentioned, upon a contract for three years, from the 1st of April. Intending contractors may be furnished, by payment of 7s. 6d. with the printed schedules of prices and the conditions of the contract, with every necessary information respecting the same, on application at the Royal Engineer Office, Portsmouth, until the 18th of March. Stations for which separate tenders will be received:—Portsmouth.- Including Portsea Island and South sea Castle, with 5 per cent, allowed for Lumps and Eastney Batteries, Fort Cumberland, Hilsea, and Tipner, and 10 per cent, for works on Portsdown Hill. Gosport.—Including Forton, Priddy’s Hard, Haslar, Forts Monckton and Blockhouse, with 5 per cent. allowed for Forts Brockhurst, Rowner, Elson, Gomer, and Grange, Stokes Bay Lines, Browndown, and Gilkicker batteries; and 10 per cent. for Forts Wallington and Fareham. Isle of Wight.—Albany barracks and East Cowes, with 10 per cent, allowed for each of the other stations on the island. Southampton.—(Pensioner’s Establishment) with 5 per cent, allowed for March wood, and 10 percent, each for Hurst and Calshot Castles. Winchester, Chichester, Christchurch, Trowbridge, Littlehampton. One contractor only win be accepted for the whole of the trades for each of the above-named stations, but the rates of percentage at which the parties tender may be different for each trade, at their option, but such rates must be shown in the proper place on each of the schedules. The tenders will be required to be delivered before twelve noon, on 22nd March, at the War Office, Pall-mall, London, addressed to “The Director of Contracts,” and endorsed ” Tender for Artificers’ Work, Portsmouth District,” in the left-hand corner of the envelope.

West Sussex Advertiser 15th March 1855

On Wednesday last, the 7th inst. A detachment of the Norfolk Militia, amounting to 40 men and officers, arrived in this town from North Yarmouth. They are for the present billeted in the various Inns and Hotels previously to their occupying the nearly erected redoubt at the entrance of the port.

Littlehampton Gazette 13th March 2008

Page was the demolisher of the local fort IT is uncanny that Peter Merrett’s letter (Gazette, February 21) regarding he fort had a link with the headline on the front page the same week, about the Page Group succumbing to the current adverse economic climate.  The front page headline of the 1954 Christmas Eve issue of the Gazette read: “After 161 years the fort is to fall”.  The article mentions that “the land which contains the ruins is leased (today it is owned) by the golf club, and now that the buildings are declared unsafe they must come down.  The demolition work will take some weeks, says the contractor, Mr R. T. Page”.  The answer to Mr Merrett’s question as to whether demolition was at the behest of the council or the golf club management committee is neither.  The landowner (at this time, the Guinness Trust) would have been responsible for ensuring that the public were not put in danger so demolition was necessitated on the grounds of public safety.  Were youngsters not to have trespassed onto the fort, so putting themselves at great risk, demolition may not have been deemed necessary.  The golf course itself was considered to be the “Gem of the South” and together with the nearby Beach Hotel, attracted many more well-to-do visitors to Littlehampton, including royalty.  Today, many consider that the jewel in Littlehampton’s crown is the Thomas Heatherwick-designed East Beach Cafe, likewise attracting visitors to the town!  It is such a shame that the buildings, which were so magnificent when new, have been lost.  The fort was allowed by the military to decay to such an extent that demolition was required on the grounds of public safety and now nature is reclaiming it.  Littlehampton Golf Club has for many years allowed a boardwalk on its land to enable walkers to experience the fort without damaging the fragile dune system.  On the boardwalk is a stopping point where what remains of the fort (unfortunately for Gary Baines, just the outer walls) can be viewed in safety with details of the fort shown on a couple of information boards.  Nick Wiltshire  Littlehampton Golf Club  member for nearly 40 years

 

 

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