Newhaven Fort

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From Newhaven Fort website (permission needed)

Photo:Door of Newhaven fort

Door of Newhaven fort

Photo by rileycars on Flickr

Newhaven Fort has many novel design features including the first use of concrete in a military structure. The concrete was blended into the contours of the land and drawbridge, an innovative concept formed in the fertile mind of its 22-year-old designer Lieutenant John Charles Ardagh.

250 men to build a fort

Building work started in 1864 for which Ardagh had a work force of 250 men, he also had many horses and three steam engines to aid construction. From the start, Ardagh used a novel approach to the fort's construction. Normal procedure was to flatten the land and build a fort on top but Ardagh opted to blend his design into the contours of the land; this he did very successfully and today it is still very inconspicuous from the surrounding area. He also used concrete for the first time in military fortifications, the shingle on the beach being used for this, being lifted by a hoist to the top of the cliffs 120 feet above. His innovation continued at the fort's main entrance where he built and patented his "Equilibrium Bridge" that was raised and lowered by the means of counter weights completely covering the entrance when closed.

This page was added by Jack Latimer on 28/11/2007.

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