The Maunsell Forts are armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. They were operated as army and navy forts, named after their designer, Guy Maunsell; the forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and used for other activities including pirate radio broadcasting. One of the forts is managed by the unrecognised Principality of Sealand. In the summers of 2007 and 2008 Red Sands Radio, a station commemorating the pirate radio stations of the 1960s, operated from the Red Sands fort on 28-day Restricted Service Licences; the fort was subsequently declared unsafe, Red Sands Radio has moved its operations ashore to Whitstable. Forts had been built in rivermouths and similar locations to defend against ships, such as the Grain Tower Battery at the mouth of the Medway dating from 1855, Plymouth Breakwater Fort, completed 1865, the four Spithead Forts: Horse Sand Fort, No Mans Land and St Helens Forts which were built 1865-80.
The Maunsell naval forts were built in the Thames estuary and operated by the Royal Navy, to deter and report German air raids following the Thames as a landmark, prevent attempts to lay mines by aircraft in this important shipping channel. There were four naval forts: Rough Sands Sunk Head Tongue Sands Knock John This artificial naval installation is similar in some respects to early "fixed" offshore oil platforms, it consisted of a rectangular 168-by-88-foot reinforced concrete pontoon base with a support superstructure of two 60-foot tall, 24-foot diameter hollow reinforced concrete towers, walls 3.5 inches thick. The twin concrete supporting towers were divided into four for crew quarters. There was a steel framework at one end supporting a landing jetty and crane, used to hoist supplies aboard; the towers were joined above the eventual waterline by a steel platform deck upon which other structures could be added. QF 3.75 inch anti-aircraft guns were positioned at each end of this main deck, with a further two Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns and the central tower radar installations atop a central living area that contained a galley and officers quarters.
The design of these concrete structures is equal to a military grade bunker, due to the ends of the stilts, that are solidly locked into the ground. Many species of fish live near the forts, they have provided landmark references for shipping. They were assembled as complete units, they were fitted out—the crews going on board at the same time for familiarization—before being towed out and sunk onto their sand bank positions in 1942. The naval fort design was the latest of several that Maunsell had devised in response to Admiralty inquiries. Early ideas had considered forts in the English Channel able to take on enemy vessels. During World War II, the Thames estuary Navy forts destroyed 1 German E Boat. Rough Sands fort was built to protect the ports of Felixstowe and the town of Ipswich from aerial and sea attack, it is situated on Rough Sands, a sandbar located 11 kilometres from the coast of Suffolk and 13 kilometres from the coast of Essex. Fort Roughs or the "Rough Towers" was "the first of four naval forts designed by G. Maunsell to protect the Thames Estuary."
The artificial sea fort was constructed in dry dock at Red Lion Wharf and was commissioned "H. M. Fort Roughs" on 8 February 1946. After an eventful journey it was grounded under the supervision of Maunsell at 16:45 on 11 February 1942. With "almost 100 men" having earlier embarked at Tilbury docks, the fort entered into service immediately. In 1966 Paddy Roy Bates, who operated Radio Essex, Ronan O'Rahilly, who operated Radio Caroline, landed on Fort Roughs and occupied it. However, after disagreements, Roy Bates seized the tower as his own. O'Rahilly attempted to storm the fort in 1967, but Roy Bates defended the fort with guns and petrol bombs and continued to occupy it; the British Royal Marines went on alert and the British authorities ordered Roy Bates to surrender. He and his son were arrested and charged, but the court threw out the case as it did not have jurisdiction over international affairs: Roughs Tower lay beyond the territorial waters of Britain. Bates took this as de facto recognition of his country and seven years issued a constitution and national anthem, among other things, for the Principality of Sealand.
Sunk Head fort was situated 18 kilometres from the coast off Essex and was grounded on 1 June 1942. The fort was decommissioned on 14 June 1945. Unlike some of the other forts, Sunk Head was well outside territorial waters, when the Marine Broadcasting Act came into effect in August 1967 the Government was anxious to ensure that it would not be taken over again by an offshore broadcaster. On 18 August 1967 Sunk Head was boarded by a contingent o
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
In architecture, a folly is a building constructed for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs. Eighteenth-century English landscape gardening and French landscape gardening featured mock Roman temples, symbolising classical virtues. Other 18th-century garden follies represented Chinese temples, Egyptian pyramids, ruined abbeys, or Tatar tents, to represent different continents or historical eras. Sometimes they represented rustic villages and cottages to symbolise rural virtues. Many follies during times of famine, such as the Irish potato famine, were built as a form of poor relief, to provide employment for peasants and unemployed artisans. In English, the term began as "a popular name for any costly structure considered to have shown folly in the builder", the OED's definition, were named after the individual who commissioned or designed the project.
The connotations of silliness or madness in this definition is in accord with the general meaning of the French word "folie". This sense included conventional, buildings that were thought unduly large or expensive, such as Beckford's Folly, an expensive early Gothic Revival country house that collapsed under the weight of its tower in 1825, 12 years after completion; as a general term, "folly" is applied to a small building that appears to have no practical purpose or the purpose of which appears less important than its striking and unusual design, but the term is subjective, so a precise definition is not possible. The concept of the folly is subjective and it has been suggested that the definition of a folly "lies in the eyes of the beholder". Typical characteristics include: They have no purpose other than as an ornament, they have some of the appearance of a building constructed for a particular purpose, such as a castle or tower, but this appearance is a sham. If they have a purpose, it may be disguised.
They are parts of buildings. Thus they are distinguished from other garden ornaments such as sculpture, they are purpose-built. Follies are deliberately built as ornaments, they are eccentric in design or construction. This is not necessary. There is an element of fakery in their construction; the canonical example of this is the sham ruin: a folly which pretends to be the remains of an old building but, in fact constructed in that state. They were commissioned for pleasure. Follies began as decorative accents on the great estates of the late 16th century and early 17th century but they flourished in the two centuries which followed. Many estates had ruins of Roman villas; however few follies are without a practical purpose. Apart from their decorative aspect, many had a use, lost such as hunting towers. Follies are misunderstood structures, according to The Folly Fellowship, a charity that exists to celebrate the history and splendour of these neglected buildings. Follies were an important feature of the English garden and French landscape garden in the 18th century, such as Stowe and Stourhead in England and Ermenonville and the gardens of Versailles in France.
They were in the form of Roman temples, ruined Gothic abbeys, or Egyptian pyramids. Painshill Park in Surrey contained a full set, with a large Gothic tower and various other Gothic buildings, a Roman temple, a hermit's retreat with resident hermit, a Turkish tent, a shell-encrusted water grotto and other features. In France they sometimes took the form of romantic farmhouses and cottages, as in Marie Antoinette's Hameau de la Reine at Versailles. Sometimes they were copied from landscape paintings by painters such as Claude Lorrain and Hubert Robert, they had symbolic importance, illustrating the virtues of ancient Rome, or the virtues of country life. The temple of philosophy at Ermenonville, left unfinished, symbolised that knowledge would never be complete, while the temple of modern virtues at Stowe was deliberately ruined, to show the decay of contemporary morals. In the 18th century, the follies became more exotic, representing other parts of the world, including Chinese pagodas, Japanese bridges, Tatar tents.
The Irish Potato Famine of 1845-49 led to the building of several follies in order to provide relief to the poor without robbing them of their dignity by issuing unconditional handouts. However, to hire the needy for work on useful projects would deprive existing workers of their jobs. Thus, construction projects termed; these included roads in the middle of nowhere, between two random points and estate walls, piers in the middle of bogs, etc. Follies are found worldwide, but they are abundant in Great Britain. Roman ruin and gloriettes, in the park of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna Series of buildings in Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape Chanteloup Pagoda, near Amboise Désert de Retz, folly garden in Chambourcy near Paris, France Parc de la Villette in Paris has a number of modern follies by architect Bernard Tschumi. Ferdinand Cheval in Châteauneuf-de-Galaure, built what he called an Ideal Palace, seen as an example of naive architecture. Hameau de la Reine, in the park of the Château de Versailles Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
Palmerston Forts, Portsmouth
The Palmerston Forts that encircle Portsmouth were built in response to the 1859 Royal Commission dealing with the perceived threat of a French invasion. The forts were intended to defend the Dockyard in Portsmouth. Construction was carried out by civilian contractors. In addition to the newly constructed forts, extensive work was carried out on existing fortifications; the Portsmouth defences can be split into four distinct groups of forts, comprising four sea forts built in the Solent, a group of forts on Portsea Island, a group of forts along Portsdown Hill overlooking Portsmouth, a group of forts on the Gosport peninsula. As well as these forts surrounding Portsmouth, further protection for Portsmouth was provided by additional Palmerston forts on the Isle of Wight; these man-made island forts were built to protect the eastern approaches to Portsmouth Harbour from attack by enemy forces. The four armour-plated forts were designed by Captain E. H. Stewart, overseen by Assistant Inspector General of Fortifications, Colonel W. F. D. Jervois.
Construction took place between 1865 and 1880, at a total cost of £1,177,805. By the time the forts had been completed, the threat of invasion had long since passed and although the forts were armed and re-armed as technology advanced, they were never used in anger, they were decommissioned in 1956 and put up for sale the 1960s, although they were not sold until the 1980s. They have now been transformed into a museum. Spitbank Fort St Helens Fort Horse Sand Fort No Man's Land Fort These forts are situated on Portsea Island, the low lying island on which most of the city of Portsmouth is located. None of the forts were built as a result of the 1859 Royal Commission, but they did receive improvements because of it. Fort Cumberland Eastney Batteries Lumps Fort Southsea Castle Point Battery Hilsea Lines These forts are located along Portsdown Hill overlooking Portsmouth, were a response to advancing weapons technology; this new technology made it possible for shelling accurate over a number of miles to take place.
The forts were intended to prevent a hostile force landing further along the coast, approaching Portsmouth from the mainland, taking the tactical high ground to the north of the dockyard. As such, the forts are designed so that all of their main weapons face inland, protecting Portsmouth from the rest of England. Fort Wallington Fort Nelson, Portsmouth Fort Southwick Fort Widley Fort Purbrook Crookhorn Redoubt Farlington Redoubt These are situated on the Gosport peninsula. Again, they were built to prevent an enemy force landing along the coast and approaching Portsmouth from inland, had their main weaponry facing away from Portsmouth. Fort Monckton Fort Gilkicker Stokes Bay Lines Browndown Battery Fort Fareham Fort Gomer Fort Grange Fort Rowner Fort Brockhurst Fort Elson Fortifications of Portsmouth Victorian Forts and Batteries Portsmouth forts map on Bing Palmerston Forts Society Royal Engineers Museum Coastal Defence Solentforts site
Fort Albert is a tower fort nestling under the cliffs south-west of Fort Victoria on the Isle of Wight, England. It was known as Cliff End Fort, named after the Northern extremity of Colwell Bay. Fort Albert was one of the Royal Commission forts built in the 19th Century as part of Lord Palmerston's defences against the possibility of a French attack from Napoleon III. Designed to defend the Needles Passage, it was completed in 1856, after 4 years of construction, but like the American Third System forts it resembles in miniature, it would have suffered badly from rifled gunfire, so the Royal Commission enhanced it with batteries on the cliffs above. So, with the introduction of armoured ships, the fort became obsolete by 1858. In 1886 it was selected as one of the UK locations for the Brennan torpedo. After this, only small guns were mounted on the fort, it was closed to military use in 1957. The fort has been converted into private flats. There is no public access, not to the cliff tops which overlook it.
It is most viewed from the sea, or from Hurst Castle. The battery above is part of a chalet estate at Brambles Chine, another location to view the fort, passed through by runners on The Needles annual Half Marathon, it has been a Grade II* Listed Building since 1994. Cantwell, Anthony; the Needles Defences. Isle of Wight: Solent Papers. ISBN 1870113012. Victorian Forts data sheet
Martello towers, sometimes known as Martellos, are small defensive forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. Most were coastal forts, they stand up to 40 feet high and had a garrison of one officer and 15–25 men. Their round structure and thick walls of solid masonry made them resistant to cannon fire, while their height made them an ideal platform for a single heavy artillery piece, mounted on the flat roof and able to traverse, hence fire over, a complete 360° circle. A few towers works attached for extra defence; the Martello towers were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery. Many have survived to the present day preserved as historic monuments. In the second half of the 19th century, there was another spate of tower and fort building, during the premiership of Lord Palmerston; the Palmerston Forts are circular in design and resemble Martello towers.
Martello towers were inspired by a round fortress, part of a larger Genoese defence system, at Mortella Point in Corsica. The designer was Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino, the tower was completed in 1565. Since the 15th century, the Corsicans had built similar towers at strategic points around the island to protect coastal villages and shipping from North African pirates; the towers stood one or two storeys high and measured 12–15 m in diameter, with a single doorway five metres off the ground that one could access only via a ladder which the occupants could remove. Local villagers paid for the towers and watchmen, known as torregiani, who would signal the approach of unexpected ships by lighting a beacon fire on the tower's roof; the fire would alert the local defence forces to the threat. Although the pirate threat subsequently dwindled, the Genovese built a newer generation of circular towers, that warded off foreign invasions. On 7 February 1794 as part of the siege of Saint-Florent, two British warships, HMS Fortitude and HMS Juno, unsuccessfully attacked the tower at Mortella Point.
What helped the British was that the tower's two 18-pounder guns fired seaward, while only the one 6-pounder could fire land-ward. Vice-Admiral Lord Hood reported:... The Fortitude and Juno were ordered against it, without making the least impression by a continued cannonade of two hours and a half; the walls of the Tower were of a prodigious thickness, the parapet, where there were two eighteen-pounders, was lined with bass junk, five feet from the walls, filled up with sand. The number of men in the Tower were 33. Late in the previous year, the tower's French defenders had abandoned it after HMS Lowestoffe had fired two broadsides at it; the British removed the guns to arm a small vessel. Still, the British were impressed by the effectiveness of the tower when properly supplied and defended, copied the design. But, they got the name wrong, misspelling "Mortella" as "Martello"; when the British withdrew from Corsica in 1803, with great difficulty they blew up the tower, leaving it in an unusable state.
The towers were about 40 feet high with walls about 8 feet thick. In some towers the rooms were not built in the center, but more to the landside, leaving the walls thicker on seaside; these were cases where an attack with a cannon from the landside was thought unlikely. Entry was by ladder to a door about 10 feet from the base above, a machicolated platform which allowed for downward fire on attackers; the flat roof or terreplein had a high parapet and a raised platform in the centre with a pivot for a cannon that would traverse a 360° arc. The walls had narrow slits for defensive musket fire; the interior of a classic British Martello tower consisted of two storeys. The ground floor served as the magazine and storerooms, where ammunition, water and provisions were kept; the garrison of 24 men and one officer lived in a casemate on the first floor, divided into several rooms and had fireplaces built into the walls for cooking and heating. The officer and men lived in separate rooms of equal size.
A well or cistern within the fort supplied the garrison with water. An internal drainage system linked to the roof enabled rainwater to refill the cistern. During the first half of the 19th century, the British government embarked on a large-scale programme of building Martello towers to guard the British and Irish coastlines. Around 140 were built along the south coast of England. Governments in Australia, Menorca, South Africa and Sri Lanka constructed towers; the construction of Martello towers abroad continued until as late as the 1870s but was discontinued after it became clear that they could not withstand the new generation of rifled artillery weapons. The French built similar towers along their own coastline that they used as platforms for communication by optical
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s