Ref Number: 0016
Ref Number: 0016
In 1889, it was suggested that the battery be outfitted with three 6-inch B.L. guns on H.P. mountings, backed by two Q.F. guns. However, this was revised later in 1889, and it was recommended that the Q.F. guns be replaced by 4.7-inch cannons. Finally, in 1904-6, the real construction began, with the installation of two 9.2-inch B.L. Mark XC guns on barbette V mountings..
The primary ammunition storage for the cannons was housed at Bembridge Fort, about a half-mile distant, however there was a small local magazine positioned between the two guns. The battery’s command post was located about 150 meters up the road in Port War Signal Station.
During 1922/4, the guns’ Mark V mounts were upgraded to Mark VI mounts, allowing the guns to be lifted to 30 degrees, increasing their range and providing improved coverage. Three 6-inch B.L. mark VII guns were fitted on 45-degree mounts to test further range elements in 1934, and the battery was listed as ready to engage in 1939, with two 9.2-inch B.L. guns covering Sandown Bay around to Nodes point and assisting with covering the Spithead approaches with a possible range of 17,000 yards.
In 1942, a CD/CHL radar station was built on the cliff edge east of the battery, and in 1947, two 6-inch B.L. Mark 24 high angle guns mounted in turrets were built in front of the 9,2-inch B.L.s to allow for practice shoots while the new radar systems were tested on the roof of the Post War Signal Station.
The station was totally decommissioned in 1956, with all weaponry removed and the grounds sold for public use. Today, there is a very excellent observation point with parking; much of the administrative and support facilities have been demolished, but the emplacements can still be seen, and the vistas they covered are stunning.