Fort Hommet

Fort Hommet, Guernsey, United Kingdom (show on map)

Fort Hommet (or Fort Houmet) was built on the site of fortifications dating back to 1680, and consists of a Martello tower from 1804, later additions during the Victorian Era, and bunkers and casemates that the Germans constructed during World War II.

The Martello tower was constructed after the onset of the Napoleonic Wars, and during the tenure (1803-1813) of Lieutenant GovernorGeneral Sir John Doyle. To simplify matters, Doyle had a local builder named Gray construct the tower, and two others, see below, under the rubric of 'fieldworks', thereby bypassing the Ordnance Corps.

The Fort Hommet tower, like the other two Guernsey martello towers, Fort Grey and Fort Saumarez, was intended as a keep for the battery in which it was placed. The Guernsey martellos are all smaller than the British martello towers, with the Fort Saumarez and Fort Hommet towers being smaller than the Fort Grey tower. Each mounted a 24-pounder carronade on the roof to support the battery. Fort Saumarez and Fort Hommet also have exterior staircases up to the second floor.

During the Victorian Era, the fort received additional batteries and barracks. In 1852, 68-pounder and 8' shell guns replaced some of the 24-pounder guns in the batteries.

The largest addition, however, occurred during World War II and the German occupation of the Channel Islands. The Germans recognized the enduring utility of the site and fortified it further, creating the Stützpunkt (Strongpoint) Rotenstein.

After the liberation of Guernsey in 1945, the British Army and the islanders stripped the fortifications. By the late 1940s all the metal fittings including guns and blast doors had been removed for scrap. Many of the bunkers including the gun-casemate at Fort Hommet, were buried in an attempt to return the coastal landscape to its pre-war condition.

More recently, the States of Guernsey have restored parts of the fort, and particularly the Fort Hommet 10.5 cm Coastal Defence Gun Casement Bunker. This is now open to visitors, though with restrictive hours.


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Date of establishment
Founded: 1804
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