Ref Number: 0018
Ref Number: 0018
The development went through at a cost of £7,656 after being enacted in the Defence Act of 1860 as a reaction to the French danger that was then looming over the kingdom. Initially, the Battery was armed with two 7-inch R.B.L. (Rifled Breach Loaders), which were replaced in 1872 by two 9-inch R.M.L. (Rifled Muzzle Loaders) This was considered a retrograde move since breach loaders (R.B.L.s) were now the cutting-edge mechanism, but the military preferred the tried and true muzzle (R.M.L.) ones. Six 9-inch R.M.L.s were added in 1893 as part of another refurbishment.As time passed, they were deemed obsolete and were discarded by hurling them from the cliff! They were later retrieved and are now displayed on replica gun carriages at the Battery.
The Battery was fortified against land assault by a deep valley and a rolling bridge connecting the Battery to the road. There was no need to defend the Battery any farther because all of the other sides were sheer chalk cliffs that were simply too difficult to ascend.
The Battery only had room for one officer, two NCOs, and twenty one soldiers. It has plenty of supplies and a magazine area, as well as its own water storage; it would be fully staffed in times of emergency, but apart from a Master Gunner on station, the garrison at Golden Hill Fort would be the billet.
Between 1885 and 1887, a tunnel was excavated from the parade ground to the needles, which later became a lift shat to the base of the cliff. In order to neutralize any potential danger from motor torpedo boats, this base area was supplemented by five Q.F (Quick Fire) guns.Various searchlight trials were carried out between 1890 and 1892, with a steam engine generator situated in a chamber near the ditch. In 1913, the first Anti-Aircraft, 1pounder Pom Pom cannon was installed, and it was believed to be tested by shooting at a kite being carried by a boat in the water below.
The Battery was completely staffed during the First World War 1914-18 combat, then stood down until it was activated again during the Second World War. It is now owned and administered by the National Trust and is available to the public; please visit the website for exact hours.