My wife has the knack of finding some interesting and diverse places to visit for birthday treats. We have just returned from an overnight stay at No Man’s Fort which sits in the Solent between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.
The Fort along with three others were constructed in the late 1800s to protect Portsmouth from the French fleet. Like our modern day government projects they overran their construction target date and budget and by the time they were finished so were the French navy. There is plenty to read about them on the Net.
The reason for this mention is the resulting respect and admiration I now have for the engineers that put these fortifications in place. You arrive by shuttle boat at the landing stage faced with a circular wall of stone blocks that are precisely cut and interfaced together and show no sign of cracking or movement. The whole construction has no deep pile foundations but simply sits on the sea bed. They had no laser positioning equipment, no JCB equivalents, no CAD. Yet here these structures sit after 150 years in the most hostile of environments and look non the worse for wear. Impressive.
If you get the chance to visit any of the Solent Forts either for afternoon tea or an overnight stay you should go and you will not fail to be impressed.
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