Another Solent view with some interesting features of Stokes Bay. This panoramic view was produced in 1896 and although it is not of great detail it does show Fort Gilkicker with its row of granite gun casemates at the east end of Stokes Bay. At the west end we can see the Kickergill sea mark, Cruickshank’s Crescent and Stokes Bay with its pier and the Submarine Mining School behind. Out at Spithead we can see the three forts: Spitbank, Horse Sand and No Man’s Land.
An unusual view of Stokes Bay: This is HMS Belleisle sailing along the Solent, but what is that we can see in the background?Off the bow is Cruickshank’s Crescent, unobscured by buildings or trees. Also Stokes Bay pier is visible. Is that St Mark’s Church we can also see? It was pulled down in 1911.Off the stern is a glimpse of Fort Gilkicker with a few of its twenty two granite-faced gun casemates. No one alive today has seen the true magnificence that lies beneath the earth bank, piled up against it in 1904. Belleisle started life as ‘Peik I Sheref’, built in 1874 for the Turkish Navy but never delivered. It was bought for the Royal Navy and served in Ireland. She finished her life at Portsmouth as a trials ship then a target. She was sold for scrap in 1904. Thanks to the Polish website ‘Historia Wojen’ for the photo.