By Connor Steel
GOSPORT POLICE have issued a warning this week after reports of trespassers at an abandoned fort in the town, nearly two years after former council leader Mark Hook stated that “there was a real danger of people losing their life at the fort if break-ins continue’.
Officers were called to Fort Gilkicker in Military Road, Stokes Bay, on February 3 after being told people were trespassing in the abandoned building; turning into a false alarm as nobody was located at the site following a detailed search by police.
But this is the second time in a week that police have been called to Gilkicker, attending the Fort on the evening of January 26. On this occasion it was reported that a group of trespassers lit a small fire that was extinguished by emergency services.
And officers have now warned potential trespassers of potential risks in a post on social media, which was published by the Gosport Police twitter account. It read “Earlier this evening, we were called upon to attend Fort Gilkicker. It followed reports of people exploring inside.
“Although nobody was located on this occasion, please bear in mind the following if you’re ever considering doing likewise. As well as it being trespass to enter, it is also extremely dangerous to venture into the fort. There is plenty of potential hazards inside and our primary concern here is for people’s safety. The fencing erected around the perimeter is there for a reason, so please keep out”.
The Grade II fort, currently on Historic England’s heritage at risk list’ was built in the 19th century; being used as a battery and storage until it’s closure in 1999. The site was put up for sale in 2019 for redevelopments, just months after a major fire further damaged large parts of the fort surroundings.
In the twenty years’ since its closure the Fort has been closed to the public due to its unsafe and dangerous elements with a lack of maintenance over recent times. But this hasn’t prevented trespassers from occasionally breaking into the site, particularly in response to social media videos showing ‘ghostly paranormal activities’.
PICTURED BY DAVID ALAN MOORE: A view from the east of Fort Gilkicker looking across the barrack block with the gun casemates beyond (taken in 2008).