Old and New Edinburgh

Old and New Edinburgh

Volume VI

Inchkeitli.; THE FORTIFICATIONS. 293 - As it was impossible to use carts, donkeys with panniers were employed for the conveyance of light materials. The forts are entirely isolated from the island by a deep ditch, twenty feet broad and as many deep; and, fortunately, the natural contour of the ground selected for the fortifications enabled this to be done with excellent effect; thus each fort can be held and defended by its garrison, even though the island should be in possession of an enemy. ~~ post or old cannon, to form the pivot of the platform of the gun arming the battery-the platform to revolve like a railway turn-table, so that the muzzle of the gun may traverse a very wide area In rear of the gun-platforms are the magazinesthat in the north battery being sunk in the solid rock many feet deep. From each fort access is given to the bottom of the ditch by a covered way ; and from the ditch to the mainland by a flight of steps. INCHKEITH. Generally speaking the exterior slopes of the forts follow the coast lines of the promontories, and the earth of which they are formed was thoroughly compact and rammed down previous to being riveted with sods-stonework never being employed in the external faces of modem fortifications, to preclude the dangerous chance of wounds inflicted by splinters and stone shivers. The parapet walls are of great thickness, and rise about four feet six inches above the floor of the interior of each fort. The interior, in the instance of the north and west batteries, takes a circular form, and the floor is composed of a solid mass of The crest of the west headland was removed, to permit a solid concrete foundation being laid for the gun-platform. By July, 1881, the Inchkeith forts were completed, and ready for being armed with their guns. The three forts mount altogether four guns, and have been constructed at advantageous points, and there can be no fear of an enemy ever cutting off the supply oi water, as it gushes plenteously from the rocks. Each fort covers a space of between half an acre and an acre of ground, and the points chosen for them are of the first strategetical importance. concrete several feet thick. In the centre of this From the shape of the isle they form the points concrete is sunk, in an upright position, an iron of an irregular triangle, and each being in sight of
Volume 6 Page 293
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Volume 6 Page 294
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