Fort Gilkicker

 

 

The Stokes Bay Lines

 

 

In the 1840s and 50s the possibility of a French landing at Stokes Bay caused some concern and three batteries were built along the bay to counter this, two at Browndown Point and one at Gilkicker Point. All three were simple earth ramparts with little to protect them from direct assault.

 

In 1857 Major Jervois proposed a complex system of moats (ditches), ramparts and batteries to close off the gap between the new fort at Gomer and the earlier fort at Gilkicker, Fort Monckton. This defensive moat was to become the ‘Stokes Bay Lines’.

 

Map of the Stokes Bay Lines 1938

Map of the Stokes Bay Lines 1938

 

The Hampshire Telegraph in November 1858 was delighted to report to its readers that the proposals to fortify Stokes Bay had commenced:

 

We are enabled this week to lay before the public a short description of the entirely new line of defence in Stokes Bay, which will connect the forts at the east and west ends of the shore by means of a continuous rampart to be constructed of earth, and extending from the inundation at Fort Monckton to Fort Gomer. The works have been already commenced, and are to be carried out with the utmost despatch. In front of the rampart for musketry fire there will be a broad and wet ditch formed while at the rear of the line four or five strong batteries mounting cannon of the heaviest calibre will be erected. These, assisted by the fort to the left of Gilkicker and the batteries at Browndown, will form an effectual protection of by far the greater portion of the Solent, and particularly so as it is understood that Gomer (and we have little doubt the fort at the other extreme of the line) is to be among the first that will be armed with the celebrated Armstrong gun. Those of our readers who are acquainted with the locality will at once recognise in these works a system of defence which, from the disposition of the flanking forts and those at the rear of the new works, will form a most powerful concentration. By this plan, too, one of the most open parts of our coast (the utter defencelessness of which has of late been so much animadverted upon) will be rendered secure against the probability of invasion. It is also said, - but we give the report publicity with due reservation - that it has been determined that a number of small casemated earth batteries shall be built, extending from Blockhouse Fort to the rampart at the easternmost extreme of Fort Monckton.

 

The new Armstrong Gun which formed the main armament of the Stokes Bay Lines

The new Armstrong Gun: 7-inch R.B.L.

 

 

The Times on January 19th 1860 described the proposal thus:


Portsmouth and its Defences

On the sea face, from Fort Monckton, a plateau rises abruptly from the low ground beneath to a height averaging about 18 feet, and extending to Lord Ashburton's marine residence at the end of this position of the line near Fort Gomer. On this plateau stands Anglesea-terrace, Alver Cliff, the residence of Mr. Bingham, the well-known London police magistrate, Alver Bank, the late residence of his Royal Highness Prince Alfred, while studying on board Her Majesty's ship Britannia, and the beautiful marine residence of Lord Ashburton, to which we have already referred. The whole of these, with the exception of Anglesea-terrace, will be pulled down to make room for the forts, &o., about to be erected; and on this plateau will be concentrated the main strength of this part of the position. Commencing from the eastern end, there will be there formed a strong battery of 11 guns, firing over all, and sweeping the ground in front, the line of railway, and the rear of the auxiliary batteries on the right flank of Fort Monckton. In the rear of this latter work is a quantity of swamp through which a wide trench has been dug, and in connexion with this trench along the low ground at the foot of the plateau on which the chief forts will be erected runs a wide deep trench and rampart at an obtuse angle, the apex inclined inward towards the centre of Anglesea-terrace, and the western arm extending to opposite Alver Cliff. In the centre, or gorge of this work, runs out an immense work of rampart and moat, which, to describe plainly, may be called tho two sides of a triangle with the apex cut off; this will be joined to the main line by drawbridges, &CEO., and the intended Stokes Bay Railway will pass over its eastern parapet. On the main line, In the rear and centre of this work, will be erected a smaller work, with guns sweeping its interior and the line of moats in all directions. At Alver Cliff, moat and rampart form a sharp angle for sufficient distance to mount a battery of guns to sweep the continuance of that moat and the ground in front, while in the rear of this will be erected one of the heavy forts (mounting about 30 guns), which, as we have before stated, will form the really defensive works of the position. The line continues its course to Alver Bank, and thence to its extreme western point, opposite Fort Gomer, where it will end in a strong casemated square work, surrounded by ditch and morass, and under the guns of Fort Gomer. The works at Alverbank Will be of a most extensive character, including an entrance to the country inside the works by a public roadway from the new road to be formed outside the line of works; rolling wooden drawbridges over the moats, and a culvert for the admission and retention of water &co, In the rear of this, on the elevated ground or plateau, will be erected another of the large forts, and at the extreme rear of the line a battery, or redan, mounting 11 guns, similar to the one at the eastern extremity. In advance of and on the right of the whole line are to be two auxiliary batteries of 21 8-inch guns (the Browndown batteries) The line of defences from this point form a right angle from Fort Gomer, with Its 32 pieces of the heaviest calibre, to Fort Elson, at Frater Lake, on the western side of Portsmouth Harbour, and comprising five detached forts, thereafter to be connected by ditch and parapet, Forts Gomer, Grange, Rowner, Brockhurst, and Elson; tho first and last named completed, and tho other three in course of construction. Standing on the parapet at Fort Elson we see on the opposite or eastern side of Portsmouth Harbour the works at Elson, the point whence we started, and have visited the entire cordon of defensive fortifications already In existence, and those now in course of construction at an enormous expense, for the protection of Portsmouth Harbour, its shipping, dockyard, and arsenal. Extensive as they are, and will be when completed, we are still told by military men that the plan must remain incomplete, and Portsmouth harbour still vulnerable to the attacks of a powerful and enterprising enemy, until the two sea forts on the Noman and Dean shoals are built and armed, and Portsdown Hill regularly fortified.

(the spelling of Anglesea for Anglesey is original)

 

Stokes Bay Lines on Flashearth

 

As constructed, the Stokes Bay Lines ran from the rear of the Browndown Batteries in the west, to the glacis of Fort Monckton in the east and consisted of a ditch with rampart and five flanking batteries of various traces. At the western end, No.2 Battery consisted of a sea facing rampart with four casemated guns to fire westwards across the gap between the Browndown Batteries and Fort Gomer. Three more casemated guns fired eastwards along the first branch of the ditch running towards No.3 Battery. No.1 Battery was at the rear of No.2 straddling the only coast road to Browndown army camp and Lee-on-the Solent. It also covered the rear of a dam constructed to flood the Gomer marshes in time of attack by closing off the River Alver. A tunnel connected No.1 battery to the parade of No.2 Battery via a bridge across the ditch. No.3 Battery mounted three guns to fire westwards along the section of moat towards No.2 Battery. At No.3 Battery the ditch and rampart turned south towards the sea for a short section and at this point the Stokes Bay road crossed the ditch over a drawbridge. The ditch continued eastward to the end of Anglesey Road and then on to the lake at Gilkicker. This section of ditch was flanked by No.4 Battery. No.5 Battery was to the north of this section of ditch and the east end of The Crescent and mounted nine guns facing seawards.

 

The Stokes Bay Lines on a model of the Defences of Portsmouth at Fort Brockhurst (Photo Philip Eley)

The Stokes Bay Lines on a model of the Defences of Portsmouth at Fort Brockhurst (Photo Philip Eley)

 

The River Alver was diverted into the ditch system at No.1 battery and flowed out of the ditch to the sea at various sluices along its length and from another at Gilkicker Lake, thus maintaining a constant water level in the ditch. Another section of ditch and rampart ran southwards from No.4 Battery and branched east and then north to rejoin the main ditch west of No.5 Battery. This secured the open ground in front of No.5 Battery and the railway line to Stokes Bay pier. A small section of ditch continued from the north end of Gilkicker Lake along the rear of Fort Monckton towards Haslar sea wall. Once this ditch and rampart was complete the peninsula of Gosport was effectively secured against attack from the west thereby protecting Portsmouth with its harbour and dockyard. The Gosport Advanced Line forts (Forts Gomer, Grange, Rowner, Brockhurst and Elson) stretching from the Stokes Bay Lines in the south to Portsmouth Harbour at Elson in the north threw out the line a defence from the old Gosport town ramparts to a distance that was envisaged as being suitable for the range of guns as they were currently constructed. However changes in the range of armament rapidly increased and soon the Gosport Advanced Lines were considered to be too close to afford the required defence capability. An outer line of three forts was considered but abandoned on the grounds of cost, and only fort of this outer line was constructed at Fareham. This was the last of the great land forts to be constructed at Portsmouth

 

Plan of No.1 and 2 Batteries as built.

Plan of No.1 and 2 Batteries as built.

 

No.1 Battery was first armed with eight 8-inch Smooth Bore guns. In 1886 it was proposed to replace these with two 7-inch R.B.L. guns. Ammunition was provided by two expense magazines, one a shell store for 153 rounds and the other a cartridge store holding 47 barrels. In 1891 the cartridge store held 288 rounds and the shell store 170 shells. Its revetments, embrasures and parapets were formed of concrete, a unique feature for an 1860s open battery.

 

No.2 Battery was completely encircled by its wet ditch. Access was over a bridge. It was first armed with 8-inch S.B. guns firing along the ditch towards No.3 Battery and in the west facing casemates which fired in the rear of the Browndown Batteries. Two 68pr S.B. guns were to be mounted on its sea facing emplacements which were approached by a long gun ramp. By 1886 the smooth bore guns had been replaced with twelve 7-inch R.B.L. guns whilst the main sea facing armament had been replaced with two 7-inch RMLs on dwarf mountings. The battery had magazine accommodation in the form of two shell stores and six cartridge stores. In 1891 cartridge stores 1 and 2 held 462 rounds each whilst numbers 5 and 6 held 192 rounds each. Stores 3 and 4 had been removed. Shell store 1 held 390 rounds and shell store 2 held 500 rounds.

In 1890 it was decided to remove the No.10 gun, the centre gun of three on the left flank (the east facing casemates), and substitute the two remaining guns with Maxim machine guns on embrasure mountings to fire along the ditch. The two sea facing 7-inch RML emplacements were rebuilt to take two Moncrieff disappearing carriages. In 1901 the Moncrieff carriages were removed and two emplacements for 6-inch B.L. guns were added on top of the Moncrieff pits, which were filled but left in place. Beneath the emplacements were constructed shell and cartridge stores. The shells and cartridges were raised to the gun emplacements on shell and cartridge lifts. Three of the west facing casemates were converted to mount Maxim machine guns on cone mounts, others served as ammunition stores and war shelters whilst the one at the north end was converted for use as a married quarter. Plans show that the three east facing casemates held two Maxim machine guns on cone mounts, the north embrasure being blocked. A Battery Command Post with a range finding pillar was built on top of the battery between the two gun emplacements with a telephone room beneath. A depression range finder was added on top of the east facing casemates which also had an 25ft long infantry parapet approached by a long earth ramp four feet wide. A Sling Waggon Shed and Artillery General Store were built on the parade near to the east casemates.

 

A view along the old course of the moat towards No.2 Battery A view along the old course of the moat towards No.3 Battery One of the remaining outfalls south of Alver House constructed by the Royal Engineers to control the water level in the Stokes Bay Moat Datum point bearing the inscription 15.56ft above LMS Level (Local Mean Sea Level?).
A view along the old course of the moat towards No.2 Battery A view along the old course of the moat towards No.3 Battery One of the remaining outfalls south of Alver House constructed by the Royal Engineers to control the water level in the Stokes Bay Moat On the bridge leading to Alverbank House is this datum point bearing the inscription 15.56ft above LMS Level. It is similar to one on an expense magazine at No.5 Battery, indicating that the bridge was built at the same time as the Stokes Bay Lines.

 

 

The Stokes Bay moat was supplied with water from the River Alver at No.2 Battery. When the sluice west of No.2 Battery was closed the water from the Alver would flow into the moat. To keep the water in the Stokes Bay moat at a constant level three culverts were built. Culvert No.1 was at the west side of No.2 Battery, culvert no.2 next to the road to Alver House and culvert no.3 was east of No.3 Battery where Village Road joined Stokes Bay Road. Each was operated by a penstock on the inner face of the rampart behind the moat, which opened a sluice on the inner bank of the moat allowing water to flow from the moat into the sea. Another sluice opposite No.5 Battery and a final sluice at the east end of Gilkicker Lake completed the system. The outfall to number 2 culvert can be seen at low water.

 

 

Plan of No.3 Battery as built.

Plan of No.3 Battery as built.

 

 

No.3 Battery was first armed with four 8-inch SB guns. By 1886 these had been replaced with four 7-inch RBL guns, two firing along the ditch towards No.2 Battery and two firing along the glacis in front of the ditch. In 1890 it was decided to remove the No.1 gun because it was too close to the No.2 gun for safe working and the magazine accommodation was insufficient. Two magazines were provided, one a cartridge store for 288 cartridges (original capacity 42 barrels) the other a shell store for 153 shells.

 

Plan of No.4 Battery as built.

Plan of No.4 Battery as built.

 

No.4 Battery was first armed with four 8-inch SB guns. These were mounted in pairs to fire down each branch of the ditch. By 1886 these had been replaced with four 7-inch RBL guns. In 1890 it was decided to replace the 7-inch RBLs with four machine guns on parapet mountings. Two magazines were provided one for cartridges holding 44 barrels (later 448 cartridges) and one shell store holding 420 shells.

 

Plan of No.5 Battery as built. Plan of No.5 Battery in 1892 with the proposed mortar battery in front

Plan of No.5 Battery as built.

Plan of No.5 Battery in 1892 with the proposed mortar battery in front.

 

 

No.5 Battery was first armed with 68pr and 8-inch smooth bore guns. In 1872 it was proposed to replace them with nine 7-inch R.B.L. guns. By 1886 these had been reduced to four. The battery had four expense stores, two for cartridges each with a capacity for 41 barrels of powder, later 288 cartridges each, one a shell store holding 153 shells and one an artillery store for side arms to operate the guns. In 1886 it was proposed to fit six 13-inch mortars on a platform in front of No.5 Battery. The platform is shown on a plan of 1892 but the armament was never fitted and the earthwork was then removed.

 

No.1 and No.2 Battery Stokes Bay. The slice can be seen middle left. The end of the Artillery Store can also be seen bottom left. No.1 and No.2 Battery Stokes Bay. The bridge over the moat, connecting No.1 Battery with No.2 Battery can be seen The moat on the east side of No.2 Battery looking North along the Stokes Bay Military Road
Two views taken on the same day. The moat separating No.1 Battery and no.2 battery and the bridge connecting the two batteries. The moat on the east side of No.2 Battery looking North along the Stokes Bay Military Road: 1935
Stokes Bay Moat: The Bridge across the moat at No.2 Battery. In the distance can be seen the bridge from Alver House and the Stokes Bay Pier Another postcard view of Stokes Bay with the moat and pier Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery 1935.
Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery. Another postcard view of Stokes Bay with the moat and pier Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery 1935.
Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery Stokes Bay Moat: In front of No.2 Battery Stokes bay Moat at No.2 Battery looking west towards Browndown Battery
Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery Stokes Bay Moat: In front of No.2 Battery Stokes Bay Moat at No.2 Battery looking west towards Browndown Battery
Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery:1960  
Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery Stokes Bay Moat: Looking East from No.2 Battery:1960  

 

 

The moat in front of Palmerston Way The moat at Anglesey in a hand coloured postcard of around 1905 The moat at Anglesey in 1928
The moat in front of Palmerston Way The moat at Anglesey in a hand coloured postcard of around 1905 The moat at Anglesey in 1928
The moat at Anglesey The moat at Anglesey in 1929 The moat at Anglesey in 1929
The moat at Anglesey The moat at Anglesey in 1929 The moat at Anglesey in 1929

 

 

The Batteries today

The northern half of No.1 Battery was demolished in the 1930s. The tunnel through the rampart of the battery to No.2 battery is still visible as are parts of the concrete revetments south of the road to Browndown Hutments. The battery lies within the mobile home park and is not accessible to casual visitors. The tunnel is used for private storage. In October 2012 English Heritage agreed to extend Scheduled Monument status to No.1 Battery, following a submisssion by the Gosport Society.

The reasons given were:

* Rarity: the cement revetments are a unique feature for an 1860s open battery;
* Survival: the battery is a substantial earthwork and survives reasonably well retaining the tunnel
which connects it to No 2 Battery;
* Group Value: No 1 Battery is an integral part of the Stokes Bay Lines which are of national
importance;
* Documentation: the original extent and armaments of the battery are well documented;
* Fragility/vulnerability: the cement facing and earthworks of the battery are vulnerable to damage and modification due to their situation abutting the gardens of the mobile home park.
English Heritage came to the following conclusions:
No 1 Battery is an essential component of the Stokes Bay Lines, a defensive complex of national importance, recognised in the earlier designation of some of the more prominent or exposed components. It includes unique evidence of defensive structures of the period and is also an important element in the series of historic defences of Portsmouth, from the C16 onwards, that reflect changes in military capability. It therefore has a national importance that merits scheduling. The remains of No 1 Battery are substantial and impressive in their own right but also contribute to our understanding of the highly significant and strategic Stokes Bay Lines, of which the battery forms a
part. No 1 Battery should therefore be added to the Schedule to ensure its future management.

 

No.1 Battery with tunnel to No.2 battery and remains of concrete revetting. No2 Battery can be seen in the distance. No.1 Battery, remains of the concrete revetting.

Remains of No.1 Battery

Tunnel from No.1 Battery to No.2 battery with Benchmark. Benchmark on the brickwork of the tunnel to No.2 Battery
The tunnel from No.1 Battery Royal Engineer's Benchmark

 

No.2 Battery is the best preserved. Gosport Borough Council purchased the Battery in 1932 from the Home Office for £1,500. In 1933 the Council approved the use of the site as a caravan park. In 1939 the Council moved their records from the town hall to the Battery for safe storage. During World War Two the battery was requisitioned for military use and after the war it was retained. In 1947 it was being used by the Special Armament Development Establishment (S.A.D.E.) based in Fort Gomer. They use the surrounding roads to test drive tanks and amphibious units and had a tank park at the west end of Stokes Bay. In 1950 the Battery was in use by the 7th Royal Tank Regiment Amphibious Wing. In 1950 some land at Stokes Bay was released by the military. Gosport Borough Council agreed with the military that the demolition of No.2 Battery and the removal of earth and hardcore could be carried out after 1951. The military released it in November 1951. It was altered in the 1980s to become Gosport Council’s Nuclear bunker. It was opened as a D-Day interpretation centre in 1994. The upper emplacements are fenced off and are inaccessible but can be viewed from outside the fence. The concrete pits for the Moncrieff carriages can still be seen beneath the later 6-inch B.L. emplacements. It is a grade II listed building.

 

No.2 Battery: East facing gun ports. No.2 Battery: East 6-inch gun emplacement looking along Stokes bay towards No.3 Battery No.2 Battery: West facing gun casemates. No.2 Battery: Interior of the East facing gun casemates.
No.2 Battery: East facing gun ports.
No.2 Battery: East 6-inch gun emplacement looking along Stokes Bay towards No.3 Battery.
No.2 Battery: West facing gun casemates.
No.2 Battery: Interior of the East facing gun casemates.
No.2 Battery: Battery Command post with telephone Room beneath. No.2 Battery: West 6-inch B.L. gun emplacement looking towards Browndown Battery No.2 Battery: West ditch No.2 Battery: Basement shell store for east 6-inch B.L. gun.
No.2 Battery: Battery Command Post with telephone Room beneath. No.2 Battery: West 6-inch B.L. gun emplacement looking towards Browndown Battery No.2 Battery: West ditch No.2 Battery: Basement shell store for east 6-inch B.L. gun.
No.2 Battery: The west moat in 2008 No.2 Battery: The interior looking south towards the Battery Command Post in 2008 No.2 Battery: The west casemates in 2008 No.2 Battery: The Depression Range Finding pedestal on top of No.2 Battery casemates
No.2 Battery: The west moat in 2008 No.2 Battery: The interior looking south in 2008 No.2 Battery: The west casemates in 2008 The Depression Range Finding pedestal on top of No.2 Battery
No.2 Battery: The East casemates in 2008

No.2 Battery

East facing gun ports with 6-inch B.L. emplacement to the left. The middle gun port has recently been replaced by a door.

No.2 Battery: Sea Facing Battery for two 6-inch B.L. guns built on top of the earlier emplacements for two Moncrieff disappearing RML guns.

No.2 Battery

Sea Facing Battery for two 6-inch B.L. guns built on top of the earlier emplacements for two Moncrieff disappearing RML guns.

No.2 Battery: Sea Facing Battery for two 6-inch B.L. guns built on top of the earlier emplacements for two Moncrieff disappearing RML guns.

No.2 Battery

Sea Facing Battery for two 6-inch B.L. guns built on top of the earlier emplacements for two Moncrieff disappearing RML guns.

No.2 Battery: Sea Facing Battery for two 6-inch B.L. guns built on top of the earlier emplacements for two Moncrieff disappearing RML guns.

No.2 Battery.

The lower left concrete is the earlier Moncrieff emplacement. The right emplacement for the 6-inch B.L. is built on top of the earlier right Moncrieff emplacement. Between the emplacements is the Battery Command Post

 

View No.2 Battery on Streetview

 

The site of No.3 Battery is inside a garden. Nothing of the battery remains although there are some hints of the battery in the form of a bank of earth and some garden structures comprised of brick arches.

 

 

The site of No.4 Battery is recognisable but most features have been destroyed. The site is occupied by a stable and paddock for horses. The ditch has been filled and no trace of the gun emplacements or magazines remain.

Looking east along the course of the filled in moat towards the site of No.4 Battery

Looking east along the course of the filled in moat towards the site of No.4 Battery

 

No.5 Battery is relatively intact inside the R.N. Physiological Laboratory grounds. The rampart and the four expense magazines survive, one for shells, two for cartridges and one an artillery store. The gun positions have all been removed by modern development although the racers for at least one gun position have been found beneath the later infill. A section of the rampart with the south west salient has been destroyed by a road driven through the rampart. The artillery store to the rear of the battery survived into modern times until demolished to make way for a car park and temporary foot bridge over the road. The battery is a scheduled ancient monument.

 

Looking east towards the site of No.5 Battery

Looking east towards the site of No.5 Battery

 

Filling of the The Stokes Bay moat was proposed from 1949 but was filled in stages from the late 1950s, because of problems with stagnant water, rubbish and mosquitoes, the section from No.2 Battery to Alverbank being filled first from October 1954 so that the Stokes Bay Road and promenade could be widened. In 1959 The Times reported on the filling of a section of the moat by the Royal Engineers because of mosquito infection.

The section of the Stokes Bay Lines moat south of Palmerston Way was filled in 1966.

It is possible that the section surrounding No.5 Battery was filled with the rubble resulting from the flattening of the School of Electric Lighting. Beneath the infill the Stokes Bay Moat lies with its concrete lining intact. The section at Fort Monckton was filled in 1969.

 

Filling of the Stokes Bay Moat: From the minutes of Gosport Borough Council:

1949 OSC Borough Engineer report 1st April 1949 The Filling of the Moats
As artificial waterways they have no natural beauty and are not suitable for boating or fishing, the water looks dirty and uninviting and the annual maintenance is probably around £150 per year.
When filled an area of nearly 17 acres will be added to the area for development a very valuable acquisition and will be used for tennis courts, bowling greens, car parks, rock gardens etc.
Moreover moat filling will transform the are from Blunts Bridge to No2 Battery for to-day the area between moat and beach is just wide enough for a narrow road and no development can take place without expensive works that would encroach on the foreshore; with the moats filled, however, the marriage of the grounds of the Bay with those of Bay House and Alverbank is  achieved and the extension of the promenade made possible with added spaces for gardens and sea chalets.
The intention is to fill the moats with refuse so that the cost will be small in proportion to the advantages derived. Normally the whole cost of the recuse disposal falls on the Roads and Works but as I intend to make a special job of this work with at least 18 inches of topsoil covering. I propose charging the open spaces with part of the cost in order that the estimate for refuse disposal may not be over-expended.
If Whitehall say the moats are required for defence say that the Garrison Engineer says OK to fill them in.
No2 Battery

For quite a long time ahead it can be used as a caravan park or camping site or indeed for any purpose which would entail little outlay

I advocate the filling of the moats around the battery and the piecemeal demolition of the battery itself, when an area of almost seven acres becomes available for any scheme that appeals to the council.

19500102 OSC Stokes Bay development: already 2 months behind schedule as Hants Rivers Catchment Board object to filling in the moats. They act as a storage reservoir for Alver waters during tide-lock and have enabled an area of low-lying land north of the railway line to be reclaimed. The outlet of the Alver is below high water mark at spring tides for a period of 161 minutes Borough Engineer says that filling of moats must take place immediately if the Stokes Bay redevelopment is to happen so pipe the moats from No2 Battery eastery concurrent with tipping - cost £1500

195404 OSC p670 filling Stokes Bay moats: Borough Engineer had proved that piping of moats would not help Alver overflow - so fill without piping (from 1 Oct 1954)

195506 OSC p63 filling moats at Stokes Bay: could tipping between eastern boundary of Alverbank and Jellicoe Avenue be deferred as moat forms a very effective barrier between resident's gardens and the public open space. The gorse bushes on moat banks were a nice natural feature but the smell and blowing about of paper was unpleasant!
OK to fill in between No2 Battery and Alverbank so that new road may be built, prom extended, and W-end of Bay tidied up.
The other part (roller skating rink & open air dancing with bandstand, pavilion, tennis courts, bowling greens) unlikely to happen in next few years.
The problem is that the water will become stagnant

195605 OSC p29 Stokes Bay Caravan Site: provide site for a small shop on land within No2 Battery reclaimed recently by filling moat

195607 OSC p104 levelling bank to moat between No2 Battery and Alverbank

195610 SB p185 ask HCC to fund improvement of existing road Jellicoe Ave to near Alverbank (joing proposed new road to No2 battery) with new road along site of moat and land to south as promenade & open space.

195711 RWW p188 tipping almost complete in Western Way; recommence at moats in Stokes Bay.

195802 RWW p284 tipping in to Stokes Bay moats - 3' of fish-filled water; only tip in winter months

195803 RWW p311 Stokes Bay Moats; Hydrogen Sulphide being given off; Palmerston Way residents wished to keep the moat to South of them;

195805 RWW p13 filling Stokes Bay Moat - discuss with residents; Admiralty agrees to bulldoze banks into the moat to E of Admiralty Pier; start refuse tipping during winter 1959/60

195810 RWW restart filling moat south of Palmerston Way in November

195811 OSC p207 moats at Stokes Bay - buldoze southern bank into moat but leave north bank as natural barrier to Palmerston Way houses

196003 health p346 Mosquito clearance: Army Training to fill moat (which?) from spoil of Stokes Bay Golf Club; possibly finish filling Stokes Bay moat July 1960 from rubble of Clayhall Arch if they demolish it

196109 OSC p135 Stokes Bay moats adjoining Palmerston Way - stagnant water smells at low tide!

196110 RWW p205 piping of moat Palmerston Way - tender of £4778

196605 OSBC p19 filling moat Alver Bridge to tennis courts at Jellicoe Ave; level, grade & seed

 

OSC = Open Spaces and Cemetery Committee

RWW = Roads, Works and Wharf Committee

OSBC = Open Spaces, Baths and Cemetery Committee

SB = Stokes Bay joint Committee

 

Aerial views on Bing

Stokes Bay Defences

 

Aerial views on Flash Earth

No.2 Battery

Site of No.3 Battery

Site of No.4 Battery

No.5 Battery

 

 

 

 

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