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Ramparts to reopen for summer open day

By Connor Steel

LOCAL RESIDENTS have once again been invited to explore the ‘Historic Ramparts’ in Priddy’s Hard early next month as the site looks set to host another open day, with Portsmouth & Gosport History Group organisers hoping to eclipse a similar event held over the Coronation weekend that drew over one thousand visitors for a historic national celebration.

These ramparts were constructed back during the eighteenth century and were part of the “Gosport Lines”; adding to a number of defences across the region. Priddy’s Hard was further used as a gunpowder storage facility with barrels also moved from the Square Tower; a nearby fort being equipped with fourteen massive 18-pounder guns by the late 1850s.

Visitors will be able to explore the site on August 5 (Saturday) as part of a Summer Holiday Open Day; which is due to begin promptly at 10am and conclude at 5:30pm. This event is being supported by organisations including Lee Victory Festival, Monserrat Events, The Overlord Show, Jolly Antiques and Sally Antiques; many of them offering sponsorship.

There is a timetable of events throughout the day, which starts at 11am with a War Talk and Demo session. The artillery firing demonstration will be held at both 12pm and 4pm whilst a musket firing session is scheduled from 2pm; a vehicle parade potentially being popular at 3pm. These timings are ‘subject to change’ at short notice due to issues or weather.

The whole day is completely free for everybody and there is limited parking near to the site entrance; with visitors also encouraged to use the E1 bus route when possible. Suitable foot-wear should be worn due to occasional unevenness of pavements and certain areas of the historic ramparts that are able to be explored throughout the day in all weathers.

A shared message from the Portsmouth & Gosport History Group on Tuesday said: “Step into the rich tapestry of naval heritage at the our Rampart Open Day on August 5th! This ‘extraordinary event’ invites you all to step back in time and immerse yourself in the wonders of our past. Brace yourself for resounding Artillery firing and be captivated by Musket demonstrations courtesy of the UBIQUE Right of the Line Living History Group and (also) the Fort Cumberland Guard.”

The message followed on: “As you traverse the historic 18th-century fortification a fascinating military encampment will transport you to an era long gone. Delve into the ‘stories of valour’ and courage that echo through the ages. Best of all, this thrilling celebration of history is completely FREE for everybody to enjoy as we offer a ‘rare glimpse’ into the pasts.”

Further information on the Historic Ramparts or the Portsmouth & Gosport History Group can be found on this website link. Financial donations are welcomed to support ongoing projects around Priddy Hard and future ‘community’ events.

PICTURED BY RWF PHOTOGRAPHY: Scenes from event back in May that marked the Coronation of King Charles III.