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History Castles and Fortifications

Golden Hill Fort

REF NR: 13

Situated half way between Freshwater and Yarmouth and to the West of the lovely river Yare, it was designed to be a defensible barracks for the officers and men manning the various shore gun batteries and emplacements defending the Needles approaches.

Originally designed for a compliment of 250 men in 1862 this number was reduced to 8 officers and 128 men with a further complement of doctors and nursing staff.

The design is one of hexagonal in two stories 31ft high scarps  and the entrance was through a tunnel and a drawbridge. Although the defences looked impressive they were not designed to hold off a major attack, with only 18 light guns on the roof, they did garrison the gunners from both Cliff End and Warden Point as well as Hatherwood batteries.  

Latterly the fort has been put to many different uses during 1914-18 war it became an infantry training depot with over 30,000 Duke of Cornwall’s being trained there. In 1939 -45 it was a depot for British and Canadian infantry and in 1945 was used as a barracks for the RASC  waterborne troops.

In 1962 it was handed back to local control and was subsequently used for light industrial units until around 1985 when it was again changed into a craft and small museum centre. in the fall of 2005 permission was given to convert the fort into apartments and that was still being undertaken when we visited the site in 2010.


After a  great deal of further works the fort itself has finally been converted into a set of superb apartments. Sources:  Photo Sean Colson 27th September 2009 and video from developers and Soul Photography.







Aerial Image 3rd November 2015 taken by Sianna from Soul Photography

showing the newly developed apartments