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History Castles and Fortifications

Hatherwood Battery

REF NR: 12

Situated on Hatherwood Point which can be found to the north east of Alum Bay, its mission was to be able to give cross fire out into the approaches of the Needles Passage. Initially designed to have six 68pr S.B. en-barbette it was finally deployed with three 7-inch R.M.L.s , flanked by two heavier 9-inch R.M.L.s with the magazines situated in an earth mound to the rear of the battery.

Originally the garrison barrack accommodation was to hold  of 50 soldiers and 2 officers however this was latterly changed into living accommodation for two marred soldiers. The rest of the garrison was then quartered at the nearby Golden Hill Fort.

A further re modelling took place in 1876 after three years if thought as it had been proposed in 1873, when two 12.5-inch 38 ton R.M.L.s were fitted, in doing so the magazine was relocated to the left flank and a proposal for further upgrade to replace the 9-inch mounts to that of 10-inch R.M.L.s again in 1886 although on the drawing board at a cost of £6,000 was abandoned.

Between 1889 – 92 various searchlight experiments were undertaken and the overall “fire control” of the surrounding gun batteries locally were now all being undertaken at Hatherwood.   By then the battery had a full complement of four 9-inch R.M.L.s and two 12.5-inch R.M.L.s guns. In 1899 there was a modification as two of the 9-inch guns were replaced with 5-inch B.L. broadside mounts.

Various further changes were proposed, some minor ones were carried out but others never left the paper stage. Then In 1903 the active life of the battery had appeared to come to an end and it was disarmed.

However, between 1940 and 1943 the site was used once again by the Royal nave as part of the Indicator Loop station group. Today the site is slowly eroding away and care must be taken as two of the emplacements have already fallen and subsided over the cliff edge.  Though what still can be seen with care is the modification made for the 5-inch B.L. mounts to the two left emplacements.


Each pillbox had its own style of construction, and details of which can been had by following the link in the "Resources" tab.