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Thread: Brean Down Fort

  1. #1
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    Default Brean Down Fort


    Brean Down fort has a history going back to the 1860s it was chosen for its strategic position in alignment with other forts on Steepholm Island, Flatholm Island and Lavernock Point near Cardiff to protect the upstream dockyards of Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and Avonmouth from the strong French Navy.



    Click here for a panorama of the view from the fort (warning 800Kb photo).

    Four acres of land at the end of Brean Down were requisitioned in 1862 and building was complete by 1870. The armament arrived shortly afterwards. The fort was garrisoned by 60 men and was defended by seven 7" rifled muzzle loading cannon which were among the last of this type to be made at Woolwich Gun Foundry. There were originally three main gun positions. These were W battery containing 2 guns on 'C' pivots (rotating around a reused Georgian cannon set upright in the ground)



    and one on an 'A' pivot (rotating around a pin set in a stone drum below the muzzle of the gun).



    There were two underground magazines. This position was destroyed in 1900 when the magazine exploded after one of the garrison fired his rifle into it, apparently committing suicide. A WW2 emplacement now covers the site. The NW battery contained three guns on 'A' pivots. There were two underground magazines behind the position.



    The southernmost gun position and half of the central position has been covered by a WW2 emplacement but the northern position is well preserved having been used as a coal store. The NE position contained one gun on a 'C' pivot in a semi-circular gun-pit. The cannon is still in position and part of the racer remains as do three iron wall rings. The underground magazine is one of the largest in the Bristol Channel forts.

    Behind the batteries is a barrack block and officers quarters which run across the headland with a dry moat in front. The walls are defended by 21 carbine slits.

    The site was decomissioned in 1905 and was used as a Cafe until 1939 when it was rearmed to protect the estuary from german torpedo and minelaying ships.

    Two gun positions were built to mount 6" ex-navel guns in their turrets. These were later protected with a "plastic" anti-aircraft roof. This has now been removed for safety. One position was built over the ruins of the old W battery and the other partly obscures the NW battery.









    The barrack blocks were converted and the windows partly blocked to reduce the effects of blast. The concrete bases of several buildings survive in the fort and also protected in the moat









    Several experimental weapons were trialled at Brean, the only evidence being a short length of launching rail. Two of the better known weapons trialed were the seaborne bouncing bomb, and the expendable acoustic emitter (designed to confuse noise seeking torpedos).








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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    I really like this location, it is very similar to North Head Bunkers in Sydney, which has a very similar role, and the actual building structure looks the same, for examples of this, at the end of mission Impossible (The one with the Vile of Poison in the Girl) they are in North Head Bunker.

    Is this bunker in Brean open access?

    S
    If There Is A Ladder Climb It,
    If Its A Tunnel Explore It,
    If Its Derelict,
    Its Urbex.

    My Adventures

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    nice one. never heard of this place before

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    But wait, there's more!

    Several other structures lie just outside the main fort: Two searchlight batteries for illuminating sea-borne targets, a command post and the barracks for the garrison.

    Searchlight battery (west)





    Searchlight battery (south)







    Command Post:





    view from top:


    interiors:






    Garrison barracks:



    Also worth noting is the range finder mounting pillar:



    Finally a large water storage tank also survives, constructed from bolted sections. It was placed in a brick-walled building which was buried for protection, forming a pit. Access was from above and rungs survive in the corner.


  6. #5
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    Right, last lot.

    Away from the fort there's also a couple of other military training installations from WW2.

    Firstly there is a set of bomb range markers along with an observation post looking over the range itself:

    Concrete arrow marker


    Range observation point


    View from O.P.


    Rangefinder platform


    The target of the range is believed to be a shipwreck in the bay itself.


    Opposite the bomb range markers there is another observation point, pre-dating WW2 but converted for WW2 use:



    Finally there is a set of machine gun training posts on the north side of the point overlooking weston bay:







    I think that just about wraps it up for Brean Down Fort!

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    Yeah brean down fort is owned by national trust and has unrestricted access (apart from all but one of the underground batteries which are all heavily gated and padlocked).

    This isn't urbex, but this site is about derelictplaces and it certainly comes under that, plus I have a thing about WW2 home defence :)

    It's certainly a nice day out if you have a day to burn. It's a reasonable walk along a nice coastal path and Brean Down is home to quite a few peregrine falcons if you're into that kind of thing too :)

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    Again Wow, looks really good.
    If There Is A Ladder Climb It,
    If Its A Tunnel Explore It,
    If Its Derelict,
    Its Urbex.

    My Adventures

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    ooooooooooh, thats a good one. i love looking at military places, army, navy, or raf, and others as well. either when they are full functional, or closed and derelict, and also the ones like this one that are owned by national trust etc. love em all.

    great find, and great pics too. and a lovely viewover the surrounding area. perfect. :)

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Brean Down Fort


    If you are up for the walk, Brean Down has everything : Views, Buildings, history +++ ,Wildlife, Sea Caves, Climbing potential, everything an explorer could wish for, and a cracking breakfast can be had at the cafe :p
    G
    "Whenever I fill out an application and it says 'In case of an emergency notify...,' I put Doctor. What the hell is my mother gonna do?" Steven Wright


    G

  11. #10
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    Default


    Sorry to drag a old post up but i think its worth it.

    been meaning to get to brean and take a look this fort for months but never had the time.
    No i want to go even more.

    cracking site with loads to see.


    thanks for sharing.
    Nothing to see here, Move along!

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