Fort Gilkicker is a historic Palmerston fort built at the eastern end of Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire to dominate the key anchorage of Spithead. It was erected between 1863 and 1871 as a semi-circular arc with 22 casemates, to be armed with 5 12" guns, 17 10" guns and 5 9" guns. The actual installed armament rather differed from this. In 1902 the RML guns were replaced by 2 9.2" and 2 6" BL guns, and before the First World War the walls were further strengthened with substantial earthwork embankments.
The First Fort on Gilkicker Point was constructed as an auxiliary battery to Fort Monckton and consisted of an earthen rampart for eleven guns firing through embrasures cut through the parapets. The battery was a distorted quadrilateral in shape with a long gorge a short sea facing rampart with two flanking faces. The front faces were protected by a ditch which was flanked by musketry caponiers at the angles. The rear was closed off by a brick wall with a barrack for officers at its centre. The battery was heavily criticised by James Fergusson, who eventually became the Treasury representative on the Royal Commission in to the defences of the United Kingdom, set up in 1859. In his paper ‘The Peril of Portsmouth’ he stated that the battery was in danger of collapse under the weight of its own guns and could easily be captured by a small force landing in the bay as it could offer little resistance. As a result, the Defence Committee proposed a new work to replace it.
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