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History Castles and Fortifications

Ryde Fort (Solent)

REF NR: 579

It was decided in 1860 to build a series of five forts in the Solent to guard the Spithead anchorage and the inner approaches to Portsmouth Harbour. However, only four were ever completed as the 'fifth' Solent fort was sited in the Ryde Sands area.


Once construction began, problems became apparent with the foundations. Several attempts were made by the contractors to stabilise the sands and blue slipper clay but eventually it had to be abandoned.


After further consideration, the government decided to build a smaller fort at St. Helen's,  guarding Ryde roads and anchorage. The position marked is very approximate, giving only the rough area of its believed placement.