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Report - Needles Sea Level Fort, Isle of Wight - May 2016

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by b3n, May 12, 2016.

  1. b3n

    b3n onehundredandthirtythree
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    This weekend we had spring (extra low) tides so I had the chance to visit the Needles sea level fort.

    The small fort was tunneled into a chalk cliff face and is only accessible by boat or on very low tides. Access involves following the sea out over slippery rocks to find the now partially collapsed entrance.

    The first high level battery, now called the Needles old battery, was commissioned in 1855 to protect the westerly approach of the Solent from sea invasion. First armed with 7 inch RML guns whih would later to be replaced by 9 inch RML's.

    In 1887 a lift shaft was dug from the moat of the old battery to the sea level and 5 tunnels leading to gun emplacements for QF guns, designed to counter torpedo boats, were excavated in the cliff face.

    In 1903 the guns from the old battery were tipped off the cliff and a new battery built at a higher level, however during the second world war the battery was reactivated and a searchlight position was installed in one of the gun emplacements of the sea level fort.

    The old battery is now National Trust property and and open to the public. The sea level fort (now disconnected by the dilapidated lift shaft) is not.

    Starting with a walk over Headon Warren (an old rabbit farm) to avoid the parking charges:

    [​IMG]

    The sea level fort is located near to the end of the point:

    [​IMG]

    The walk over rocks as the tide went out:

    [​IMG]

    Just past the rockfall inside the entrance:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lift gear:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looking up the shaft towards the old battery:

    [​IMG]

    The fresh water reservoir, the water is drinkable:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    View of one of the QF emplacements:

    [​IMG]

    The WW2 searchlight emplacement:

    [​IMG]
     
    sidibear, Brenin, Nickindroy and 8 others like this.

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  2. Thomas Beaumont

    Thomas Beaumont 28DL Full Member
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    Did you go for a swim ?
     
  3. b3n

    b3n onehundredandthirtythree
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    Not this time! Stuck my toes in during a couple of hours in the sun waiting for the tides to be right, that was enough for me ;)
     
  4. obscurity

    obscurity Flaxenation of the G!!!
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    Can't say I have noticed other reports on this before. Looks quite interesting. Good photos too :thumb
     
  5. Yorrick

    Yorrick 28DL Regular User
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    Very interesting mate. I don't recall seeing an octagonal lift shaft anywhere before either.
     
  6. b3n

    b3n onehundredandthirtythree
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    I was playing it safe with getting back to the safety of the beach so photos were all a bit point and click with built in flash, no tripod either :(
    Truffle pig has been down here and posted a reports, i'm not sure if MarkR or OT or anyone else has done it on their trips over?
    It's a great visit mostly because of the access and need for a bit of planning!
     
  7. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    A bit different this, I like it
     
  8. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Very nice and not somewhere I've seen pop up before. Time and tide waits for no explorer, good effort getting in and out :thumb
     
  9. Dizzydisco

    Dizzydisco 28DL Full Member
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    Off to Isle of Wight soon so may have to have a wonder round this place
    It looks a nice little explore
     
  10. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Proper nice that mate, liked report and pics :thumb
     
  11. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Never seen this before, it looks very cool indeed. Good effort getting in and out with the tides.
     
  12. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    New one on me and looks pretty bloody decent ,nice one fella
     
  13. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    I did take a brief look for it once but never managed it.

    Nice work I must say.
     
    b3n likes this.
  14. TranKmasT

    TranKmasT We're Earth explorers
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    Good shots considering no tripod. Great report.
     
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