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Fortifications.

From the Echo. Probably few people are aware of the amount of money England has spent during the last few years in the construction of fortifications for the defence of our principal seaports and dockyards. We used to be told that “ Britanni a needs no bulwarks, no towers along the steepbut this age of steam and iron has apparently falsified that statement. During the last eighteen years no, less than £7,397,241 has been expended in this manner, according to a return just issued. Portsmouth has consumed the lion’s share of this sum, no less than £3,033,419 having been expended on the forts which encircle the land side of our great seaport, and on those which stud the waters in its neighborhood. 1 lymouth, with its magnificent harbor, has cost £1,478,409 for defences, a sum which would have somewhat startled Sir Francis Drake, when he built the first battery on the island in the harbor which now bears his name. Pembroke Dock figures for rather more than £300,000; Portland for £457,000; Gravesend and its adjacent forts for £320,000; while Chatham and Sheerness bring up the cost of defending the Thames to £975,000. Dover has run us into an expenditure of nearly £300,000, and Cork nearly £200,000. In addition to this, nearly half a million has been spent in providing and fixing iron shields for fortifications. Experiments in the great case of Gun v. Ar mour have cost £15,000; while surveys, incidental expenses, and law costs amount to over £200,000 more. The only glimpse of sunshine in the. whole matter is that the amount authorised to be expended by the Fortifications Act is very nearly finished, only £35,000 more remaining to be raised.

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Fortifications. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879

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