Ref Number: 0026
Ref Number: 0026
The St. Helens Point Battery was intended to protect the St. Helens Anchorage and prevent clandestine landings along the shoreline in an 1860 defensive assessment. However, after a survey in 1865 revealed that the proposed site was inappropriate, the location was shifted to an offshore position 1,200 yards south of Sturbridge Shoal. Plans for the fort, which were authorised in 1867, called for iron plating along the seaward side and a granite face finish along the landing side. Fifteen casemounted weapons and two more potent turreted guns were proposed for the.
The fort’s superstructure began to slide during construction, and the edifice as a whole began to lean. The Defence Committee decided to make changes to the weaponry in 1870 to help equal out the uneven settlement. They did this by replacing the four principal guns with considerably lighter cannons and mounting two heavy guns on each side in Moncreiff mounts. By 1873, however, plans had changed once again, and new information from the settlement led to the suggestion that the lower floor gun deck be scrapped in favour of mounting two bigger 18-ton cannons in casemates.
After being outfitted with searchlights during World War II, the location was decommissioned and sold in 1983. The fort was put up for sale in 2003 and is presently in private ownership.
Henry John Temple, the son of Viscount Palmerston of Ireland, was born on October 29, 1784, in Broadlands, Hampshire. Following his father’s death on April 16, 1802, he inherited the Irish peerage and attended Harrow School and St. John’s College, Cambridge.