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Robert71
 
barbararybolt July 15, 2017
Thanks for the history! I love when photographers give context to their images. The image itself is beautiful and so well composed.

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Perch Rock Fort

Built in the 1820s to guard the mouth of the River Mersey downstream of Liverpool, Fort Perch Rock otherwise known as ‘Little Gibraltar of the Mersey’ was once responsible for one of the most bizarre examples of friendly fire. Originally built as a shore battery to protect Liverpool against the French, it was used as a lighthouse after replacing the old Perch Rock light. When built it was in a location cut off at high tide and known as ‘Black Rock’ but coastal reclamation has made it part of the mainland.

The Fort spans 4,000 square yards and was big enough to garrison 100 men. Its walls reached 32 feet high in places and, in its original state, it would have been protected by a drawbridge.

The fort is made from red sandstone blasted from the Runcorn Quarries, situated on the southern bank of the River Mersey and its construction cost just under £27,000 at the time. Unlike almost every modern construction project it was actually completed for less than the budget.

Cannon fire has only ever been used twice in the entire history of Fort Perch Rock. The first incident occurred at the start of the First World War, when the Territorials, under the command of local dentist Major Charles Luga, were ordered to fire a warning shot across the bow of a Norwegian ship that had failed to obey a signal from the fort.

However, the shot went astray due to the soldiers aiming too high and it landed on the other side of the river in the Crosby residential area (some say Hightown). The gunners were ordered to fire again and this time they only succeeded in hitting the bow of an innocent ship anchored in the river.

The first shell was later found by a local resident who took it to Seaforth Battery, where it was placed in the Mess Room with a written notice pinned to it with the words ‘A present from New Brighton.’

The Captain of the Norwegian ship thought the shell fire was just friendly banter from the Fort as he was not aware that War had been declared.

The second time the soldiers were instructed to fire shots in warning was in September, 1939 at the start of the Second World War. A fishing ship came up the channel when it had been closed.

Battery Commander, Colonel Charles Cocks, ordered two shots to be fired across the ship’s bow’s bringing it to a halt. The owner of the vessel was later fined £50 for breaching the rules.

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Won Peer Choice AwardNovember, 2017
Won Contest Finalist in The Horizon And Compositions Photo ContestAugust, 2017

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