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

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


Regular User
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:


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


The walk over rocks as the tide went out:


Just past the rockfall inside the entrance:




Lift gear:



Looking up the shaft towards the old battery:


The fresh water reservoir, the water is drinkable:



View of one of the QF emplacements:


The WW2 searchlight emplacement:



Regular User
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 ;)


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


I call bullshit!
Regular User
Very interesting mate. I don't recall seeing an octagonal lift shaft anywhere before either.


Regular User
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
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


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


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Proper nice that mate, liked report and pics :thumb


A Predisposed Tourist
Regular User
New one on me and looks pretty bloody decent ,nice one fella

Oxygen Thief

Staff member
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.
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