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Report - - Needles Sea Level Fort, Isle of Wight - May 2016 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Needles Sea Level Fort, Isle of Wight - May 2016

b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#1
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:

1.5.jpg


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

1.4.jpg


The walk over rocks as the tide went out:

1.3.jpg


Just past the rockfall inside the entrance:

1.1.jpg


1.9.jpg


1.10.jpg


Lift gear:

1.8.jpg


1.7.jpg


Looking up the shaft towards the old battery:

1.2.jpg


The fresh water reservoir, the water is drinkable:

1.12.jpg


1.13.jpg


View of one of the QF emplacements:

1.11.jpg


The WW2 searchlight emplacement:

1.6.jpg
 

b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#3
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 ;)
 

Yorrick

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#5
Very interesting mate. I don't recall seeing an octagonal lift shaft anywhere before either.
 

b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#6
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!
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#8
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
 

Dizzydisco

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
Off to Isle of Wight soon so may have to have a wonder round this place
It looks a nice little explore
 

Oxygen Thief

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#13
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?
I did take a brief look for it once but never managed it.

Nice work I must say.