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Landscape Section

Stokes Bay, Gosport - a seascape rich in history

Saturday 9th September 2023

Getting to Stokes Bay: SatNav users please use PO12 2QU to direct you to the Diving Museum. From the M27, exit at junction 11 (Fareham) and follow the signs to Gosport (A27 and then A32) and then follow the road signs to Stokes Bay. The museum is at the western end of Stokes Bay.

Gosport Borough Council have a ‘Google map’ which shows three car parks very near to the Diving Museum. All three car parks cost £1.40 per hour or £8.20 for 5+ hours.


  • 10.00: Meet at the Diving Museum, No. 2 Battery, Stokes Bay Road, Gosport, PO12 2QU

  • 10.10: Introduction to the Diving Museum and Friends of Stokes Bay from Kevin Casey.

  • 10.35: An outline of the local history and seascape of Stokes Bay, covering the river Alver, Lord Ashburton’s Bay House, D-Day and Mulberry Harbours, Fort Gilkicker and a host of other defence works over the past 200 years.

  • 11.00: Tea/Coffee at a nearby cafe.

  • 11.40: The walk follows the former track of the river Alver, towards Fort Gilkicker and returns along the coast, back to the Diving Museum.

  • 12.15: Lunch stop around the halfway point either as a picnic or in a cafe on the route.

  • 13.15: Re-commence the walk returning to the Diving Museum by around 14.00

Download a flier with booking form for this visit, print off and complete and send to the Landscape Treasurer at the address given.

If you have any questions email -


Stokes Bay is an area littered with marks of the past, with many information boards. For the landscape historian it is full of promise and has an intriguing story to tell. The designation of Gosport as a Heritage Action Zone by Historic England, and of Stokes Bay a Conservation Area, provides new momentum for landscape studies. Historic England has produced several reports on the area, notably one of 2019 with lidar base mapping.

Starting at the western end, there are two main routes for exploring the bay, one along the shore and the other inland by 100 metres or so to the north, along the line of a cliff once carved by the river. The route along the shore starts just beyond the Diving Museum, behind the Bayside Cabin Café, where the river was engineered to exit via a sluice in 1891. This was carried out to control water levels in a moat built in the 1860s along the whole length of the bay: it remained a prominent feature until the 1950s, when it was infilled. To the west of the exit of the river, within the military area of Browndown, can be seen a battery built in 1888 to cover deep-water moorings offshore. The museum itself, which displays an important collection of diving materiels, is housed in one of the five defence works built to accompany the moat, namely, No. 2 Battery. They replaced six earthworks or ‘redoubts’ built in the 1780s to defend the area from a seaward invasion.








Any questions about the Landscape Section?
Then email Mike Broderick Landscape Section Chairman