Fort Albert is a tower fort nestling under the cliffs south-west of Fort Victoria on the Isle of Wight. It was one of the Royal Commission forts built in the 19th Century as part of Lord Palmerston's defences against the possibility of a French attack from Napoleon III. Designed to defend the Needles Passage, it was completed in 1856, after 4 years of construction, but like the American Third System forts it resembles in miniature, it would have suffered badly from rifled gunfire, so the Royal Commission enhanced it with batteries on the cliffs above. Even so, with the introduction of armoured ships, the fort became obsolete by 1858. In 1886 it was selected as one of the UK locations for the Brennan torpedo. After this, only small guns were mounted on the fort. It was closed to military use in 1957.
The fort is in private ownership of harbour developments and has been converted into private flats. There is no public access, not even to the cliff tops which overlook it. It is most easily viewed from the sea, or from Hurst Castle. The battery above is part of a chalet estate at Brambles Chine, another location to view the fort which is passed through by runners on The Needles annual Half Marathon.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.