Hey everyone, welcome back to pinned on places. Today we’ve ventured to Reigate in Surrey to explore Reigate Fort, with open access at reasonable hours, accessible to all and owned by the national trust. Reigate fort was built as one of 13 in the late Victorian times when they expected the French to invade them. Initially built to store ammunition and to gather troops and supplies for the defence of the north downs. The fort offers beautiful views over the woodlands on the top of Reigate hill.
Entrance to the fort is through two iron gates with concrete pillars on either side, and these had little windows in them which were called ‘loopholes’ so that the solider behind would be able to shoot the enemies whilst they were crossing the bridge.
As you then wander through, one of the first buildings you will see is the tool store. It was built as a permanent structure to provide storage for the mobilised troops and labourers. Tools for trench digging and construction tools would have been kept here and If an invasion occurred, the troops would be able to grab whatever tools they here and put them to use imminently to help out. Equipment like saws and axes would be used to clear away trees or bushes in front of the trenches to allow clear shots at an advancing enemy.
Following on from the tool store there is another large building called the Magazine – this was where the stores of ammunition were kept. It was one of the most protect and most important buildings on the complex. The workers here were highly skilled as it was dangerous. It was very important that the labours worked with extreme caution and they would have had to work from two main rooms, they were the cartridge store and the shell store both which were connected by a passage.
As you roam around the corner you will notice it isn’t straight track walk around, instead they made this in design so that you wouldn’t be able to shoot straight onto the grounds.
And the final main building on the fort was the underground casemates. This was originally meant to be the forts tool store but by 1903 they were outgrown and a new tool store was made. The casemates however is positioned with their backs to the high defensive ramparts, which offered plenty of protection to the buildings from any blasts. These buildings were made to store trench warfare tools and were more than likely intended for use as war rooms for defensive efforts. Something to look out for is the elaborate iron grills with a rose pattern on the windows of the casemates – it asks the question why this building was so highly decorated.
By 1907 the threat of invasion from France has disappeared, and the fort was sold off into private hands. Luckily the Victorian defences were never destroyed so it gives us great idea of what the fort looked like when it was operational.
We hope you’ve enjoyed Reigate fort today and look forward to sharing with you our next adventure, if you like what you see please give us a thumbs up or subscribe to our YouTube channel. Till next time.