Ancient Monuments

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Gunboat Traverser System

A Scheduled Monument in Anglesey, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.7873 / 50°47'14"N

Longitude: -1.1261 / 1°7'33"W

OS Eastings: 461700.0919

OS Northings: 99005.5866

OS Grid: SZ617990

Mapcode National: GBR VKG.S4

Mapcode Global: FRA 87J0.H39

Entry Name: Gunboat Traverser System

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1976

Last Amended: 14 June 2016

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1001810

English Heritage Legacy ID: HA 505

County: Hampshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Anglesey

Built-Up Area: Gosport

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Alverstoke St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The remains of the gunboat traverser system beneath and in front of the gunboat sheds, 1856.

Source: Historic England


PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: the buried remains of the gunboat traverser system in front of the gunboat sheds, and the remains of the slipway, of 1856. The design of the gunboat yard was by the Admiralty Works Department, under Colonel Greene, the Director of Works and William Scamp, the Deputy Director of Engineering and Architectural Works. The supply of the rails was contracted to Fox and Henderson of London. The traverser system comprises rails to transport vessels between the water of Haslar Creek and the gunboat sheds, and associated fixtures.

DESCRIPTION: the rails of the original slipway have been removed at the top, though appear to remain at the waterline. These would have joined the central transverse slipway: a sunken row of seven rails running parallel with the creek and the gunboat sheds. The transverse slipway adjoins perpendicular rows of six rails leading into each shed (the sheds are listed at Grade I, reference 1431190).

EXCLUSIONS: the chain-link fences bounding the site are excluded.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The gunboat traverser rails and remains of the slipway, of 1856, are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Period: built to house and mobilise the fleet of gunboats found invaluable during the Crimean War, the remains of the traverser system including the slipway are thought to be unique in a naval context and hence representative of a significant period of naval defence;
* Rarity: one of few structures built resulting from the Crimean War, and the earliest surviving example of a steam-powered traverser system;
* Documentation: well-documented through primary and secondary sources, in which the aesthetic, technical, military and political aspects of the site and period are recorded;
* Group value: the traverser system is the principal element of the site, and is associated with a number of other highly-graded listed buildings including the gunboat sheds;
* Survival and potential: the remains of the traverser system in front of the sheds survive well below ground and have the potential to illustrate the mechanical operation of the system.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Coad, Jonathan (Author), Support for the Fleet - Architecture & Engineering of the Royal Navy's Bases 1700-1914, (2013)
Coad, J , Historic Architecture of the Royal Navy, (1983)
Coad, J G, The Royal Dockyards 1690-1850: Architecture and Engineering Works of the Sailing Navy, (1989)
SAVE Britains Heritage, , Deserted Bastions, (1993), 93
Jonathan Coad, ‘Appendix IV: History of Haslar Gunboat Yard’, in [A. Kelly & Jon Gill], Guardrooms, Haslar Gunboart Yard, Gosport. Buildings at Risk II Survey (Unpublished Oxford Archaeology report for Defence Estates, 2007).
O Hickson, 2012 A Study of Haslar Gun Boat Yard with New Insights into Its History, Construction, Manufacture and Use. Unpublished MSc Building Conservation: Weald and Downland Open Air Museum with Bournemouth University
'Our Gunboat and Mortar-Boat Flotilla', Mechanics' Magazine, 3 January 1957, 5
Sarah PC Hendriks, Haslar Gunboat Yard, Gosport: Historic Buildings Report, 2014. Available at:

Source: Historic England

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