Shoreham Redoubt

Coordinates: 50°49′37″N 0°15′00″W / 50.82694°N 0.25°W / 50.82694; -0.25

Shoreham Redoubt stands at the entrance to Shoreham harbour, at the mouth of the River Adur in West Sussex, England. It was planned in the 1850s during a period of alarm about a possible French attack. Construction was completed in June 1857 at a cost of £11,685. The fort design was similar to that of Littlehampton Fort, which had been built in 1854.


The fort consisted of a gun platform 15 ft (4.6m) above sea level and was in the shape of a lunette, that is a straight sided crescent. The gun platform and ramparts were surrounded by a ditch, with a Carnot wall running along its centre, designed to halt attackers attempting to cross the ditch. The wall itself had loopholes for defenders to fire through. In the place of the open bastions at the Littlehampton fort Shoreham had a caponnier with a brick roof at each of the three angles of the walls. This meant that riflemen could fire along the walls at besiegers in the ditch. The central caponnier straddled the ditch and was connected to the fort by a tunnel under the gun platform and ramparts.. The East and West caponniers doubled as latrines. A barrack block at the rear had room for 38 men. . The fort was armed with six 68 pounder guns on traversing platforms.

Later History

The fort was garrisoned by the 1st Sussex Volunteer Artillery, who were considered to be one of the top volunteer artillery units and won a prize for the accuracy of their shooting in 1865. A review in 1873 found that the fort's armaments were then obsolete and its construction inadequate. The fort was also considered to be too vulnerable to attack from the land. It was recommended that a new stronger and more defensible fort be built on a site nearby, but this was never done. Towards the end of the Nineteenth century new guns were installed. In the early Twentieth century the fort served as an open-air film studio for early silent movies, with four films made there in 1914. During World War 2 the fort became an Emergency Coastal Battery with searchlights and artillery. After the War the barrack block was demolished and a coastguard tower built on the gun platform. A restoration was undertaken by West Sussex County Council in 1977 to 1978.

The site today

Today the gun platform, ditch, Carnot wall and caponniers can be seen in their restored state. The foundations of parts of the barrack block and parade ground can be made out. The World War 2 observation post can be seen on the West rampart. Outside the fort to the East is an observation tower, now operated by volunteers from the National Coastwatch Institution and used to watch the harbour entrance and sea approaches.

The Redoubt is currently being restored by a local group of volunteers, the aim being to restore it and create a museum based in the ammunition store beneath the old Coastguard tower which is to be demolished.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
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