Fort Rocky, Palisadoes

Fort Rocky, Palisadoes (Andrew Smith)

Fort Rocky, only too easily confused with Rockfort a few miles away, was built on a slight headland, about half-way from the Windward Road to Port Royal along the Palisadoes.  What survives was built in the early 20th century and altered around WW2 after which the fort was closed.  It has mass concrete battered walls with ‘star’ bastions to landward and rounded gun emplacements to seaward.  In recent years, wind-blown sand had engulfed the eastern part: this has been excavated to reveal a couple of large cast iron turrets for 6” guns and several buildings. 

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) are designing its conversion into an entertainment venue for up to 8,000 people.  In addition to the fort, this will cover a significant length of the spit with parking.

The FGSJ made a cursory inspection of the surviving structures and provided initial advice on UDC plans.  Most of the structures that rely on steel are beyond reasonable repair due to salt corrosion, but the mass concrete is doing fine.  Several buildings were found to have their filler-joist roof structures carried by rails, presumably ‘liberated’ from the Port Royal railway. 

The FGSJ has sent annotated drawings commenting on the project to the UDC project manager. 

Anne M Powers