The Gosport Lines are an exceptionally rare system of 17th to mid-19th Century earthwork defences that encompassed the town and several harbour-based military sites.
Through a recently published Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), the Council is committed to seeking opportunities to preserve, enhance and interpret the Gosport Lines stretching from the Scheduled Ancient Monument at Bastion No.1, to Priddy’s Hard.
This will include highlighting the importance of key views, open spaces and landscape features. While the section along the west side of Weevil Lane (also Scheduled) can only be accessed by appointment, it is intended to work with the DIO to enable limited access to the southern of the bastions within that area and Queen Victoria’s Railway Tunnel constructed through the Ramparts.
The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust have indicated that they would be keen to become involved in works covering the Priddy’s Hard Ramparts which, in addition to adding to proposed works, could include improved interpretation, access and repairs required to the northernmost section of the moat and the caponieres at either end of this stretch of the defences.
This is an important placemaking project which will opens access to a currently semi-derelict “at risk” Scheduled Ancient Monument and promote heritage, as well as tackling anti-social behaviour which the derelict and closed area lends itself to.
It is expected that the site will attract visitors for the attractive environment, supporting improvements in local health and wellbeing. The scheme will deliver enhanced pedestrian links around the Town Centre area and open up the opportunity for reinstatement of the footbridge.
The scheme is integral to the regeneration of the Town Centre in support of the SPD by increasing tourist potential, and links to the town’s bids for Transforming Cities funding and the Future High Street ambitions.
The scheme will bring extensive areas of footpaths back into use, and secure a new link to Millennium Promenade as well as providing new interpretation panels around the Town Centre to link sites and tell the story.
The first phase focus is Bastion Number 1, but future phases will open up access to other areas of the lines notably Priddy’s Hard and the ramparts north of Mumby Road.
The Project would enable promotion of Gosport as most complete set of 17th-19th century earthworks in the country.