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FORT VICTORIA

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  SHARPENODE BULWARK
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Fort Victoria was originally built as a Henrician coastal fort, known as Sharpenode Bulwark. Constructed in 1545-7, Sharpenode was built as part of Henry VIII's network of coastal fortifications to defend against French and Spanish invasion. From its position on Sconce Point it could control the whole of the Needles Passage and approaches to Yarmouth. The early Tudor fort fell into disrepair and was repaired or even replaced in 1587 by Sir George Carey, Captain of the Island. By 1623 the defences were once again in a state of disrepair and in the 1850s the blockhouse was completely rebuilt as Fort Victoria. Fort Victoria was rearmed in the 1880s and was used as a barracks and military storehouse. At the outbreak of the Second World War the fort was used as a training battery for coastal gunners and was equipped with torpedo tubes. It is now a museum and part of Fort Victoria Country Park.

Sharpenode Bulwark was a square timber and earth structure with two angle bastions or flankers. The square front was on the seaward side to mount the heavy guns and the angle bastions were on the landward side to provide flanking fire. It replaced the nearby Worsley's Tower and was one of the first fortification to be built in the new Italianate Style of angle bastions.
The original Henrician designed fortification was replaced in the 1850s by a redan-shaped transitional fort, known as Fort Victoria. It was constructed in the 1850s, and is brick-built with concrete gun-floors and several casemates to protect the guns. It was in active service until the 1860s and was rearmed with more modern armament in the 1880s.

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