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SHORNMEAD FORT

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Coastal battery built in the 1860s to cross its fire with Coalhouse and Cliffe Forts. A small battery of four guns had first occupied the site in 1796, but this was obliterated by a polygonal fort in 1847. This was in turn replaced by the present fort in the 1860s. It consists of an arc of granite-faced casemates with iron shields and an open battery at the up-river end. It was fronted by a deep ditch and caponiers, and a defensible baracks closed the rear. It was armed with eleven 11-inch and three 9-inch muzzle-loaders. By 1895, two 6-pounder quick-firing guns were mounted to cover a projected minefield adjacent to the battery. The heavy guns were removed before the First World War. In the Second World War the quick-fire emplacements were overbuilt by two emplacements for 5.5-inch breech-loading naval guns when it was reopened as an emergency battery (recorded separately as NMR Monument Record: 154769). Pillboxes were let into the river wall near the front of the battery. By the late 1970s the barracks were in a derelict state. All that now remains is the facade of the casemates and frontal ditch, and fragments of the barracks.

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