Fort Necessity is not a typical military fort. It is small and simple, even for a wilderness fort. It consists a small storage shed in the center of a round stockade. The stockade is 53 feet in diameter. Earthworks were constructed outside the stockade.
Why so small?
When George Washington arrived at the Great Meadows in May, he intended to set up a camp from which to base his operations while waiting for additional militia and British regulars. After encountering and dispatching the French party led by Jumonville, Washington returned to the Great Meadows and fortified his position by building a stockade and earthworks around his storehouse. When he built the fort there were only 160 men with Washington. During the battle, there were 400 British at Fort Necessity. The original fort was destroyed by the French force that defeated Washington at the Battle of the Great Meadows on July 3, 1754.