Fort William

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Fort William


This defensive installation on Grouville Common is also known as Prince William's Redoubt. And because it lay within the line of coastal towers constructed some time after, if not actually known as Grouville No 7, together with Fort Henry to the south, it was situated between Grouville No 5 and Grouville No 8 towers


Fort William is still there today, but there is not much to be seen. It is a square defensive wall and there has been a house in the middle for decades, which was substantially altered in the early 21st century.

Although never actually known as such, Fort William counts as the seventh defensive installation in line from La Rocque to Gorey, making it nominally Grouville Tower No 7, and the next coastal tower, which stood closer to Gorey, but was demolished in the 1870s, became Tower No 8. The numbering system was complicated still further by the construction of a tower at Platte Rocque, at the southerly end of the chain, after Nos 1 to 5 had been built, and that is sometimes known as Grouville No 0.

HER statement

Along with all Jersey's other coastal towers and historic fortifications it is a listed building, described as follows in the Jersey Heritage Historic Environment Record website:

"Circa 1760 redoubt which is part of the Island’s defensive network of the late 18th/early 19th century. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.
"Also part of an integrated network of German defensive structures constructed in Jersey during the Second World War, more widely part of the Atlantic Wall.
"Apart from the two great fortresses at Mont Orgueil and Elizabeth Castle, Jersey was defended during the 18th century by a series of more compact forts, ranging in size from the substantial offshore St Aubin's Fort down to the little Square Fort on St Ouen's Bay. At least 15 forts were built or rebuilt during the period, not including the Conway Towers.
"Grouville Bay was well defended by lines of defensive works and two substantial structures providing fortified garrisons - Fort Conway (now Fort Henry) and Prince William’s Redoubt (now Fort William) which was built circa 1760.
"Used as a temporary hospital for soldiers wounded in the skirmish at La Rocque at the beginning of the Battle of Jersey, January 1781.
"Put up for disposal to the States of Jersey by the War Department in 1896. Converted during German Occupation to Resistance Nest Fort William. Private house built within the walls - refurbished 2011.
"The fort has a square plan with surrounding outer moat. A bridge accesses the landward entrance. The main body of the fort is a thick encircling wall (4m in width) with dressed granite faces, within which is incorporated various stores and rooms. The wall carries stone paved gun platforms facing seaward, and saw-tooth brick firing walls to the other sides - each behind a raised defensive parapet faced with earth ramparts.
"The interior of the fort is occupied by a private house. Reportedly, there is a brick in the old powder magazine inscribed PDR 1761 A GITEN and one by the gate marked A SESTE 75 REGt. The date 1760 is also inscribed on the wall facing the sea.
"1940s steel reinforced concrete additions to existing fort - a personnel shelter, Machine Gun positions including two Machine Gun tables and small Personnel shelter. A Hexagonal mortar pit is on the sea side of the fort."

2011 extension

Architect's pictures showing the 2011 extension

German Occupation

Pictures of Fort William taken during the German Occupation and new pictures of the German additions to the site

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