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Portsdown Hill

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox british hills

Portsdown Hill is a long chalk hill overlooking Portsmouth, in Hampshire, England, offering good views over Portsmouth, The Solent, Hayling Island and Gosport, with the Isle of Wight beyond. To the north lies the forest of Bere, with the South Downs marching in the distance. Butser hill can be seen on a clear day. Southwick house nestles close by the north side of the hill, the HQ for Eisenhower during the D-Day invasions. The A3M cuts through the hill. There are many stories about real and imagined tunnels in the hill.

Portsdown Forts

Built as a result of the 1859 Royal Commission to prevent the enemy bombarding Portsmouth dockyard only 8000 yards away, because the older Hilsea lines at the bottom of the ridge were considered insufficient. A series of 5 forts were planned along the 7 miles of the ridge. From west to east they are forts Fareham, Wallington, Nelson, Southwick, Widley. The line was finished off at the eastern end with Crookhorn Redoubt and Farlington Redoubt.

Fort Fareham is now a small industrial estate.

Fort Wallington has been largely demolished to make way for an industrial estate.

Fort Nelson has been extensively restored as an artillery museum run by the Royal Armouries.

Fort Southwick was for many years an Admiralty Research Establishment, sold in 2003 for housing.

Fort Widley is owned by Portsmouth council, hosting a stable and various community rooms. Tours run on summer weekends.

Fort Purbrook is open occasionally for craft fairs.

Guarding Fort Purbrook, the Crookhorn redoubt suffered from subsidence, and was demolished by 1876. The Farlington redoubt had only the ditches and gun positions dug, and was finally demolished in the 1970s. The tunnel between Crookhorn and Purbrook has recently been rediscovered.

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