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Tyne and Wear HER(150): North Shields, Clifford's Fort, nineteenth century defences - Details

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N Tyneside

North Shields, Clifford's Fort, nineteenth century defences

North Shields



Coastal Defence Site

Submarine Mine Depot

Early Modern


Ruined Building

In 1881 the original Clifford's fort was declared obsolete as a place to mount guns, but suitable as a base for submarine mining. In 1888 therefore it became the HQ of the Tyne Division Royal Engineers (Volunteers) Submarine Miners. Most of the old buildings in the fort were demolished, new ones were erected, the old gun embrasures were blocked up, a narrow gauge railway was laid to a new gate in the south-east angle to move the mines out to a boat, and two guns were mounted on concrete bases to defend the gate. The unit in the fort was changed, or had its name altered, from time to time, e.g. in 1911 it became the Tyne Electrical Engineers R.E., and the fort remained in use until 1928 when the site passed to Tynemouth Corporation for the expansion of the fishery industry. It was briefly reestablished as an Emergency Coast Battery in W.W. 2. Although most of the 19th century buildings have been demolished, the additions & alterations to the perimeter are largely visible. The site is included on English Heritage's Register of Buildings at Risk 2002, listed as being in "poor" condition, being subject to vandalism and masked by badly sited buildings. SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT




<< HER 150 >> H.A. Adamson, Old Land Marks No. X, Clifford's Fort, Low Lights- North Shields Library Local Studies O.M. Short et al. 1935, The History of the Tyne Electrical Engineers, Royal Engineers(1884-1933) pp. 5-8 North Shields Library Local Studies, 20th century Clifford's Fort, T25.409.1193 North Shields Library Local Studies - 20th century Clifford's Fort Tyne and Wear Engineering Department, 1983, Clifford's Fort Conservation Area, New survey 1:200 D.C. Kear, 1986, Clifford's Fort and the Defence of the Tyne, Archaeologia Aeliana, 5, XIV, pp. 99-134 Excavation report, D.C. Kear, 1984, Clifford's Fort Vol. 2, etc. A.Reed,A.Hill,BKS,M.Preston,B.Harbottle,P.Jubb,D.C.Kear, Clifford's Fort Vol. 2 B. Harbottle, 1987, Clifford's Fort Vol. 3, etc. D.H. Clarke & A. Rudd, 1989, The Defences of Tyneside - Cliffords Fort, North Shields, Fortress Study Group Conference pp. 5-6 Aerial Photograph, N. McCord, 1972, North Shields Fish Quay 18.iv.1972, A.081649.11-13- Museum of Antiquities University of Newcastle Collection A. Cantwell & D. Moore, 1993, The Victorian Army and Submarine Mining Fortess, No. 18, pp 32-47 D. Clarke & A. Rudd, 1989, Tyneside in the Breech Loading Era Fortress, No. 3, pp 33-42 North East Civic Trust, 2001, Clifford's Fort, North Shields Conservation Plan; Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 2003, Clifford's Fort, North Shields - Structural Recording and Watching Brief; Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 2004, Structural Recording of Units 7A, 7B, 8A and 8B at Clifford's Fort, North Shields; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2005, Clifford's Fort, North Shields - Archaeological Evaluation; The Archaeological Practice Ltd. 2008, Clifford's Fort, North Shields, North Tyneside, Historic Buildings Recording; Northern Counties Archaeolgical Services, 2004, Structural Recording of Units 7A, 7B, 8A and 8B at Clifford's Fort, North Shields; Northern Counties Archaeolgical Services, 2013, Watching brief and recording during clearance and consolidation of gun embrasures 7-12, Clifford's Fort, North Shields; Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 2013, Clifford's Fort, Recording and Watching Brief