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History Castles and Fortifications

Sandown Fort

REF NR: 15

Sandown Fort began  being built in 1861 as the third defensive position guarding the possible invasion beaches of both Sandown and Shanklin and was originally constructed to house eighteen 9-inch R.M.L  guns. The front facing facade was built of large granite blocks weighing often in assess of six ton brought in by barge to Brading and then hauled by road cart to their final resting position. Other less important walls were built from brick with certain parts fitted with iron plating for extra protection. 


However many changes took place in the initial planning and build stages, and heavier guns were finally fitted 11-inch 18ton guns in seaward casemates with additional 5 inch armour.  Various changes to the guns took place over the following years. In the early part of the 20th Century the fort was put over for use for gunnery practice only with some additional six 5-inch B.L.s and three 3-inch Q.F. s on top.



The fort was sold off in the 1930 to private ownership and latterly became famous for not only the Tiger Zoo that now is resident but for its roll in 1943 for housing the famous PLUTO pumping station and terminal.  There is now a recently renovated PLUTO pumping station engine being on display.