This award winning Fort was at one time one of Britain’s most important defensive structures. It is situated at the end of the Nothe Peninsula jutting eastwards from the town of Weymouth and its harbour.
Built between 1860 and 1872 by ’26 Company’ of the Royal Engineers, the coastal defence was constructed to protect Portland Harbour which was becoming a very important Royal Naval base.
The D shaped fort had guns covering the approach to both Portland and Weymouth harbours. It was designed to include bomb proof casemates for cannons located around the circular sides with deep magazines beneath the straight landward side.
WORLD WAR TWO
Nothe Fort played an important part in World War II when the harbour was used as a base by both the British and American navies as well as both the Atlantic and Channel fleets. The fort had an anti-aircraft gun housed inside the main walls for the duration of the conflict but its main role was to store anti-aircraft ammunition for the south west.
Abandoned in 1956, the fort was brought by the local council in 1961 and it is one of the best preserved forts of its kind in the country. It is situated amid beautiful parkland overlooking Weymouth Harbour, the bay and Portland Harbour.
The interior of the fort is a mass of passages and tunnels constructed over at least three levels. The lower Magazine level was designed to store gunpowder and shells and the middle Gun Deck level accommodated 12 heavy muzzle loaded cannons and provided the accommodation for the soldiers manning the cannons. The top level formed the ramparts and provided a raised platform which could be used to fire muskets and light muzzle loaded cannons during an attack.
Nothe Fort is home to an impressive museum operated by the Weymouth Civic Society that displays a wide range of cannons and guns as well as World War II memorabilia including vehicles.
There is a courtyard that is used for festivals, concerts, the arts and other events.
GHOSTS AND HAUNTINGS
The fort is not only recognised for its naval history but it has a well-documented paranormal past too that stretches back over the decades. In 2007 a survey carried out by ‘The National Lottery’ discovered that the fort was voted one of the ‘spookiest’ locations in the UK.
This is backed up by staff, some of whom (it is said) will not enter some of the fort alone. Nothe fort is frequently visited by paranormal investigators looking to add to the documented activity already recorded.
The ‘whistling gunner,’ – many people claim to have heard his unnatural whistling in the fort’s underground passageways and he even has a tunnel dedicated to him.
Eye witnesses also report seeing a ‘white phantom’ walking along the parapets when that part of the building is locked.
Noises and ‘disembodied voices’ have all been heard and recorded on various instruments and equipment used by paranormal groups. Some individuals even claim to have communicated with soldiers and other people that once worked or stayed at Nothe Fort.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Station Road, Moreton, Dorchester
Dorset, England, DT2 8BB
+44 (0)1305 853 801
- Address: Barrack Road, Weymouth, Dorset, England, United Kingdom, DT4 8UF
- GPS: 50.60738889,-2.443847222
- Phone: 0044 (0)1305 766 626
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: DT4 8UF
- Entrance Fees: Yes
- Disabled Access: Largely accessible for wheelchair users
- Visibility from Road: Very Limited
- Image Credits: Header Image: Ollie Taylor