New lease of life for fort

A VICTORIAN fort on the site of the former HMS Ganges could be excavated and exposed to create a visitor centre as part of developing the land.Martin Roat, of East London Estates Ltd, said the fort was listed as a significant historical feature when consultants were compiling and environmental survey of the site.

A VICTORIAN fort on the site of the former HMS Ganges could be excavated and exposed to create a visitor centre as part of developing the land.

Martin Roat, of East London Estates Ltd, said the fort was listed as a significant historical feature when consultants were compiling and environmental survey of the site.

He said: "Apparently a significant part of it is still there and it has a Carnot's Wall, of which there is only one other example in the country."

East London Estates and London-based Galliard Homes bought the former training school for sailors in Shotley Gate from its previous owners, Potton Development, last year.


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The site also contains two grade II listed Napoleonic martello towers built around 1802, and a spokesman for Suffolk County Council's archaeology department said the towers were also listed as scheduled ancient monuments.

He said there was no listing on the fort, which is thought to have been constructed around 1865, to complement Felixstowe's Languard Fort and Harwich's Beacon Fort. Together the three protected Harwich port from occupation by invaders.

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The Shotley fort is south of the northernmost of the Martello towers and the spokesman said it was likely that because of land movement much of it was preserved underground.

He said: "It's recorded as a county monument and it would be nice to see it preserved."

East London Estates and Galliard Homes are hoping to build homes on the Ganges land and a complete environmental study is required by planning authorities before any detailed plans can be made.

Mr Roat said the document was expected to be complete within the next four weeks and then work could begin on a master plan for the site.

Both are expected to be published around September this year.

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