Friday, 26 Apr 2019 – Saturday, 27 Apr 2019
8:00pm – 2:00am
Fort Widley is one of the forts built on top of Portsdown Hill between 1860 and 1868 on the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom. It was designed, along with the other Palmerston Forts atop Portsdown, to protect Portsmouth from attack from the rear. During the Victorian period, Fort Widley and the other Portsdown Forts were used to accommodate various infantry units in the barracks. For example, in 1875 the 30th Regiment of foot were quartered there. By 1886 the South Lancashire Regiment was stationed there.
In First World War it was used as a transit depot. During the Second World War, it was modified to provide more accommodation. It was then used by a number of units before housing members of the Royal Corps of Signals and Auxiliary Territorial Service supporting the navy command at Fort Southwick. In 1952 the fort became home to a bomb disposal squadron and a year later an emergency civil control centre for Portsmouth was constructed in the fort’s magazine.
The fort was leased to Portsmouth City Council (then the Portsmouth Corporation) in 1961 and was sold outright to the council in 1972. In 1990 the Fort was taken into use as an activity centre for the Peter Ashley charity, providing a number of activities, including an equestrian centre.
In September 2010 the fort was used to host a search and rescue exercise based around a simulated earthquake. Titled Exercise Orion, the event involved teams from seven countries dealing with 35 scenarios over 2 days.
Both the Fort and a gun in front of it have been designated Listed Buildings, at Grades II* and II respectively.
Today the Fort is home to an equestrian centre run by Peter Ashley Activity Centres.
What to expect from your night
- Spending the night in a haunted location
- Vigils and séances throughout the night
- Using different types of equipment
- Free time to investigate
- Hot drinks and biscuits
- Discussions about the paranormal
- History Tour
- Friendly Team
Event LocationFort Widley
Portsdown Hill Road
Portsmouth, PO6 3LS