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Report - Verne High Angle Battery - Portland, Dorset - Dec 11

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Chaos, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Chaos

    Chaos 28DL Regular User
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    Some History

    Shamelessly pinched from Wiki

    The High Angle Battery is a derelict fort built in 1892 on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England. The battery was built as part of Britain's Coastal Defences in 1892 and is located in a disused Portland Stone quarry at the northern end of the island. Just to the north, at the top of high cliffs of Portland is the Verne Citadel with which it would have formed part of an impressive defence installation, protecting both merchant and naval shipping using Portland Harbour.
    Being down in a quarry the guns were hidden from view of any passing enemy ships, the element of surprise would keep them moving on, minimising a possible threat. The "high angle" that the RML 9 inch 12 ton guns fired at ensured shells dropped down to inflict maximum damage on the less well protected upper decks of any attacking vessel, the sides of which were usually rather better armoured.
    Positions were built for eight guns but in the event only six were installed. The supply of shells were stored in underground magazines reached by a short rail. Shelters for the men were also to be found here, their main accommodation being in the adjacent Verne buildings.
    The pace of maritime warfare increased with the use of smaller craft like torpedo boats, and the big guns would be far less likely to score a hit. As a result, they had been in use for just six years when they were taken out of service in 1898. The Battery was decommissioned in 1906, a short lifespan on the whole. Nevertheless the idea was adopted elsewhere with some enthusiasm, especially in the United States.
    The Portland installation is the best preserved Battery of its type in the United Kingdom and is a scheduled ancient monument but remains hidden from view: a short walk across from a tiny car park that serves the nearby Verne will soon reveal its layout in the lower levels of the shallow quarry.


    The Report

    Visited with MarkyMark

    This was a bit of a last minute decision, we almost called it off because of heavy rain but we were lucky as it cleared again! The wind was absolutely howling across the exposed Portland coastline with a bitter chill.

    The guns were loaded from the narrow gauge railway that ran around the battery from the magazine.

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    The Magazine entrance

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    Some details

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    Inside the magazine

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    A few other miscellaneous shots

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    The accommodation Verne buildings

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