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History Castles and Fortifications

Nodes Point Battery

REF NR: 20

1. The Royal Commissions Report of 1860 contained a proposal to build a fort between Nettlestone Point and Bembridge at St Helens Point thus stopping any covert landings along the coastal pathways between.  However, this was never built and was eventually replaced by St Helens Fort just off the coast.  Then a new proposal based on the Montgomery Committee report saw a need for extra battery position to be built to cover the north-east approaches.  So between 1901 / 4 a battery of two 9.2-inch guns and two 6-inch guns were installed. The further 1905  Owen report was to dispose of the 6-inch guns and only keep the larger 9.2-inch, so they were withdrawn in 1909.

In 1918 added to one of the vacant 6-inch gun emplacements had a 4.7-inch Q.F. gun installed and remained until 1928 when St Helens Roads was designated an examination area thus a need for heavy fire power to cover said saw two 6-inch guns in 1932 installed. At the outbreak of war in 1940 mantlets for aerial protection were fitted for the 6-inch guns and additional metal steel covers were fitted to the 9.2-inch offering the viewer a turret like effect.

At the end of the war the Battery was mothballed and only simple maintenance, however it was apparently used by the Territorial Army for training exercises from time to time up to the dissolution of the costal artillery in 1956. The 9.2-inch guns by this time had already been disposed of in 1954 and the rest of the guns were then dismantled and sold off for scrap and the site sold in private ownership.

Today you can’t see that much as the site has been taken over by Nodes Point Holiday Park, there are some buildings that are still visible such as the guardhouse and drill hall, but new developments are planned. The site is private so access is by appointment only, or you could always go as a guest.

1. Sources: Palmerstonforts Society


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