Forton Lake, Hampshire

Forton Lake in Hampshire is home to a large hulk assemblage which has been previously surveyed by the Nautical Archaeology Society and Maritime Archaeology Trust (Forton Lake Archaeology Project). CITiZAN re-visited the site to carry out guided walks as part of the Gosport Heritage Open Days and have done this annually since 2015. During one of the walks we started to talk to local resident Stuart Fitt about the use of drones to record these vessels in more detail and to develop 3D models. In October 2016 the south west team surveyed the remains of the Medina Chain Ferry with Stuart and his drone. 

The Medina River chain ferry was built to cross the Medina river on the Isle of Wight and operated between 1896 and 1909. Dubbed a ‘Floating Bridge’ it was built by William White and Sons at the Vectis Works in Cowes in 1896. It was replaced in service and remained in Cowes as a spare floating bridge until 1925. It was then owned by boat designer Uffa Fox who bought it for £150 who converted it into a workshop and accommodation, it became known as ‘Summer Bridge’. He built a roof over the central part to make the workshop and used the ramp as a gangway to the shore with the other used as a slipway to launch boats. The boiler and steam engine were removed and the space used to create an office and a bedroom. The passenger cabins were converted into a kitchen and another bedroom on one side and a dining room and drawing room on the other side. It was sold and moved to Forton Lake in 1948 where it was stripped for parts. 

The image below shows the vessel in its prime c.1903 (image courtesy www.simplonpc.co.uk)

The objective of the survey was to test the use of a drone to photograph the site in order to develop a 3D modelt. The photographs were then processed through AgiSoft and a 3D model produced which can be found on our sketchfab site. 

The objective of the survey was to test the use of a drone to photograph the site in order to develop a 3D model. The photographs were then processed through AgiSoft and a 3D model produced which can be found online https://skfb.ly/XGLX. 

During the survey images were also taken of other hulks in the area, during this the outline of a possible vessel was noticed close to the channel (see photo below) which wasnt recorded in the Forton Lake Archaeology Project. The drone was flown over the site and several images captured, further work is required to identify the type of vessel. 

 

References

BAR 536, 2011 The Hulks of Forton Lake, Gosport The Forton Lake Archaeology Project 2006–2009 by Mark Beattie-Edwards and Julie Satchell with contributions by Paul Donohue, Mary Harvey, Alison James, Colin McKewan, Jane Maddocks, Daniel Pascoe, Philip Simons and Julian Whitewright. Nautical Archaeology Society Monograph Series (NAS) 3. ISBN 978 1 4073 0813 5. 

 

CITiZAN are working to monitor the remains in Forton Lake. If you would like to help and submit a feature update or see more images of the remains check out the entry on our interactive map:

The Medina Chain Ferry

Mystery Vessel