"BOX HILL FORT" - Box Hill, Surrey, UK
Posted by: Hard Oiler
N 51° 14.988 W 000° 18.852
30U E 687432 N 5681031
Quick Description: One of a line of 13 mobilisation centres built in the 1890’s to protect London from the threat of invasion from continental Europe. They have never been used and have mostly fallen into disrepair. Now a scheduled Ancient Monument and undergoing restoration.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/4/2006 4:10:21 PM
Waymark Code: WMGCY
Box Hill Fort is believed to be one of the earliest examples of the use of reinforced concrete in construction and was built in the 1890's for the defence of London.
General Sir Edward Hamley, a leading military strategist, conducted a campaign for the adoption of measures to prevent invasion from continental Europe. Unlike most of the other leading soldiers of the day, Hamley was an enthusiastic supporter of the volunteer forces and considered that they could play an important part in the defence of the capital in the event of an invasion. He outlined a scheme for the establishment of a line of lightly fortified assembly points around London.
At Box Hill, 2.4 hectares (6 acres) were bought in 1891 for £2,221 and the fort, which cost £4,714 to build, was completed by 1900. In accordance with the tactical thinking of the time, the Box Hill fort was not designed for artillery. Rather, it consisted of concrete ramparts which protected nearby trenches from which the infantry would fight.
Never used for its intended purpose, it is now part of the National Trust Box Hill property and home to three species of bats that have taken up residence in the tunnels originally built for ammunition storage. As bats are a protected species in the UK the interior of the fort is not open to the public, however you can freely wander around the exterior which is accessible via a public footpath.