Barracks Forts and Ramparts – Celia Clark

Regeneration Challenges for Portsmouth Harbour’s

Book Cover: Barracks Forts and Ramparts - Celia Clark
Editions:Paperback - First Edition: £ 40.00
ISBN: 9781912821648
Size: 21.00 x 29.00 cm
Pages: 450

Publisher: Tricorn Books

This book celebrates Portsmouth Harbour’s long history of defending the nation - and how the local ex-defence sites have found new civilian life over the last half century. The harbour communities have a strong attachment to the armed forces, but the country no longer needs our rich legacy of barracks, forts, victualling and ordnance yards, ramparts and military lines. How have they found new uses? Whose vision and creativity reshaped them? How were the challenges of decayed historic buildings, contamination and new investment met? What roles did the local authorities play in planning their future? How did defence heritage tourism develop? Who gains and who benefits from this profound landuse change? As a microcosm of the many challenges of how to reuse former defence sites and how to create new sustainable futures for them, Portsmouth Harbour


s experience in the last half century offers useful lessons to once defence-dominated communities around the world who are seeking new roles for this specialised physical legacy.


Reviews:Bryan Jerrard wrote:

This remarkably comprehensive text well illustrates how for several generations the government, that once owned some 10% of Britain’s landmass, has sold some 2m ha (4.4m acres) of land as its defence needs have changed. Portsmouth has one of the densest concentration of specialised defence establishments in the country. Changes have been going on for many years. The City Museum, Art gallery and Archives office were housed in transformed barracks, one of a myriad of examples. City visitors generally appreciate the National Lottery’s investment of £58m to some 67 projects in the City , in the Docklands, in the 29 acres of Gunwharf Quays, the Millennium Spinnaker, the Mary Rose and in Gosport in the Explosion Museum (1991) and the victualling yards that provided food for over 100,000 men on an industrial scale in the early 1800s, and a now transformed Priddys Hard.

The MOD had to sell by law at the highest possible price but local pressure groups wanted developments that were sustainable, keeping significant historic buildings and creating jobs, housing and open space for public enjoyment. In their local efforts three members of the Royal family were involved, the P.M.’s office, several government departments, developers, local Councils, civic societies and new societies, conservation architects, the News, the BBC, all in a remarkable series of sources and resources were assembled, discussed and evaluated.

The resulting sources and references were listed at the end of the 18 detailed chapters, each well illustrated with historic maps, plans, architectural sketches, diagrams, and photos that show the changes over time. Chapter headings include heritage tourism, hospitals, batteries and military lines, education, and the rose garden. Chapter 13 will be of special interest to Portchester people as it covers the Portsdown Forts and their changing functions. The final chapter offers a challenge for further research into a world-wide development of defence lands and it has been already taken up by the School of Architecture to lead shared Research on Futures for Defence Heritage Action.

Our own Rosemary Dunne is listed among the contributors and in the text at page 369, of a formidable book that will last for generations. The signed copy will be deposited in the local library!

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