Urban explorer describes thrill of exploring abandoned Gosport fort

AN EXPLORER who has photographed the inside of an old Gosport fort has talked about his fascination with the site’s rich history.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 12:43 pm

Tim Smith, an urban explorer from Fareham, found a way into Fort Gilkicker in Military Road sometime in 2016 – capturing what he found on his LG G5 smart phone.

From ammunition lifts to destroyed bathrooms and spooky graffiti, the fort was in a state of disrepair.

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Fort Gilkicker in Gosport. Picture: Tony Ash

Since then, redevelopment work has been carried out to transform the site, although this was scrapped last year when the investors for the project pulled out.

Now, security fencing has been put up and the site is guarded.

Mr Smith, who colloquially calls his hobby ‘urbexing’, says he looked around the site with a friend.

‘I’ve been urbexing for many years but was curious about what it was like inside Fort Gilkicker,’ he said.

The ammunition lift in Fort Gilkicker. Picture: Tony Ash

‘My friend and I were in there for a good two to three hours, taking photographs of everything we found.

‘I’m not much of a photographer so was surprised when the pictures came out as well as they did.’

Inside the fort, Mr Smith and his friend even found a way to get underneath, into the vast network of tunnels that were once full of munitions.

Graffiti covers some of the walls of the fort. Picture: Tony Ash

He said: ‘It was fascinating – there was some freaky stuff down there though.

‘The rooms were linked by tunnels, and to get into one room we had to crouch underneath a door.

‘In there, we found a decapitated animal which was rather disturbing, with writing on the walls – after that, every drip or creak put us on edge.’

While he doesn’t encourage people making their way into the fort, especially children, the urban explorer says he has no regrets about exploring the site.

Fort Gilkicker in Gosport. Picture: Tony Ash

He says his philosophy is to only take photos, and only leave footprints.

‘Fort Gilkicker is honestly a fantastic place, and it was incredible to see how much stuff was still there,’ he said.

‘Things like the ammunition lift is something you wouldn’t see anywhere else.’