Hurst Castle

Southampton, UK
Posted on June 29, 2021 / 8
Listing Type : Coastal Fort
Location : England

Hurst Castle was built between 1861 and 1870 at the sire of an earlier Tudor  coastal defence position.  The long line of gun emplacements were granite casemates with iron shields covering the narrow channel between Hurst Castle and Fort Albert.  There were a total of 61 gun 9-inch RML gun emplacements, 37 guns on the West and 24 on the East face.  There were also plans for three turrets on the roof, each mounting two guns, but none of these were ever built.

Twenty one 9-inch RML guns were fitted by 1873.  As the armour on naval vessel improved, heavier guns were needed to interdict them thus leading to a need to improve the effectiveness of the coastal artillery.  By 1879 the armament mounted in Fort Hurst was:

EAST WING

Two 12.5-inch RML guns

Eight 10inch RML guns

Five 9-inch RML guns (original)

WEST WING

Eight 12.5-inch RML guns

Fifteen 10-inch RML guns

CENTRAL TUDOR TOWER

Three 64-pdr RML guns

By 1909 three Machine Guns and three 12-pdr QF guns had been added to the Fort.  Searchlight emplacements were built in 1898, 1902 and 1914.  During the First World War the intention was to use the original RMLs as huge shot guns to fire at light vessels, particularly Motor Torpedo Boats.  This was similar to Stack Rock Fort in Milford Haven.

In 1941 tow twin 6-pdr guns with their tall observation towers were built on the West Wing roof.

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