We have been away for a few days, but while I sort out some photos of lighthouses plus a castle, that we visited, I will try and posts the ones before the recent visits. So a few weeks ago, the start of August 2017, while taking some photos of Southsea Castle Lighthouse, I looked across the Solent, the stretch of water that separates the UK mainland from the Isle of Wight and saw another lighthouse. Daylight was fading a little, but as we would not be around this neck of the woods for a while, I took some photos and hoped for the best. The lighthouse is on Spitbank Fort, one of four sea forts built in the Solent – with St Helens Fort, Horse Sand Fort and No Mans Land Fort. The Forts were initially designed to defend Portsmouth’s naval dockyard from French invasion, today they stand as a testament to Victorian engineering. Spitbank Fort is now a luxury hotel, if you fancy a stay, but I think that would be a bit extreme for me, just to take a photo, so a long range one will have to do.
A little history for you……..The story of Spitback Fort goes back to 1851 when Napoleon III became Emperor of France, sparking widespread fear in Britain that a French invasion was likely. Prime Minister, Lord Henry Palmerston, initially commissioned five forts to run along the Solent’s eastern approaches to defend the Royal Navy fleet at anchor in Portsmouth harbour. Four remain today as one was abandoned during construction. The granite and iron sea forts were built with cutting edge Victorian engineering technology. However they, along with other defensive forts along the south coast, were later dubbed “Palmerston’s Follies” as the French threat never materialised.