Alderney Fortifications

Alderney, United Kingdom

Apart from a Roman Fort, there were very few fortifications in Alderney until the mid 19th century. These were then modified and updated in the mid 20th Century by Germans during the occupation period. Alderney island is now one of the most fortified places in the world.

Victorian Era

The Victorian era fortifications were built after 1845 against the naval threat from France.  Completed in 1855, Fort Clonque, the most westerly in Alderney, connected by a causeway, mounting ten guns with a crew of 59 and bomb proof buildings.  Originally the barracks were on the shore, making it impossible to get to the fort to man the guns at high tide.

Fort Tourgis was also completed in 1855. It was the second largest fort on the Island, mounting 33 guns in five batteries requiring 346 men. Sufficient accommodation was available in the fort. Built on a headland covering the bays of Clonque and Plattes Saline with many loopholed walls. Along the second beach, two batteries were built, Platte Saline and Doyle with three and four guns. Used by the Alderney militia until it was disbanded in 1882 and the militia artillery until 1929.

 There are around ten more smaller forts as well built by British armies.

German fortifications

Arriving in an almost deserted island in 1940, all but 18 of the population having evacuated to England, the 450 Germans manned the existing fortifications until in 1941 when a decision was made by Adolf Hitler to fortify the Channel Islands. The majority of the work was given to the Organisation Todt. Workers were brought to the Island and installed in camps. The four camps by January 1942 held 6,000 workers.

Camp Sylt held Jews who were treated as slaves and camp Norderney held forced labour mainly Russian and Polish POW's but including men from many other nationalities were run by the OT until the SS took them over in March 1943.  Those that survived the harsh treatment were shipped back to France to work on the Atlantic Wall when that became a higher priority. There are 397 known graves in Alderney and about 200 died when two German minesweepers were sunk by two Allied Destroyers on 7/8 July 1944.



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Alderney, United Kingdom
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Founded: 19th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Kulwinder Singh France (2 years ago)
Best place
Skylar Fournier (2 years ago)
I heard of a bomb hidden underneath the Fort... Probably a rumor. Who knows though?
Andrew C (5 years ago)
Amazing holiday accommodation. Historically amazing. Quirky rooms.
Ben Willis (5 years ago)
An amazing place to stay, a fort on a private island where 13 people can stay in comfort. It's absolutely beautiful, warm and safe while the elements rage outside. Whatever the weather, this place is truly unuque and astounding.
Alex Parr (5 years ago)
Excellent place to stay with a group if you want something a bit different. Managed by the Landmark Trust it's fully kitted out and the management are super helpful (picked us up from the airport without us even asking). Stunning views from every angle. Accomodation wise it's perfectly comfortable. You won't get WiFi or phone reception in the fort but why would you want to when you're here!?
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