Horse Sand FortEdit profile
Horse Sand Fort is one of the larger Royal Commission sea forts in the Solent off Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. It is 240 feet across, built between 1865 and 1880, with two floors and a basement, armour plated all round.
The original armament was to have been 45 10-inch and 44 12.5-inch rifled muzzle-loading (RML) guns on the gun floors and 10 12" RMLs on the roof in five turrets. In fact the turrets were never built and the limited space meant the 12.5-inch guns had to be operated with less than full charges of powder. In 1882, 12-inch rifled breech-loading guns were placed in alternate bays.
Other sea forts include Spitbank Fort, St Helens Fort and No Mans Land Fort. During the second world war extensive submarine defences were built in the form of large concrete blocks running about 2 metres below sea level from the fort to the shore at Southsea. With only a single narrow gap to allow small craft to pass through, this barrier (and a much shorter one running south from No Mans Land Fort towards Ryde Sands)remains as the cost of demolition is deemed too high.