Page 22 - Gosport Defences
P. 22

Victorian Forts                                             Portsmouth                       19b

                              Stokes Bay Lines Battery No.2

          Commenced            1857                                 Armament
          Completed            1861
          Cost                  £ 75,120 for the Lines              1872   10 x 8-inch S.B. 2 x 68pr S.B.
                                                                    1886  12 x 7-inch R.B.L.
          Map Reference        SZ 58697 98929                       1890 9 x 7-inch R.B.L.
          Position             Gosport Stokes Bay                              2 x 7-inch RML on Moncrieff carriages
                                                                    1901  2 x Maxim Machine Guns
          Type                 Coast Defence Flanking Battery              2 x 6-inch Mk VII B.L.
                                                                           on CP II Mountings
          Ditch                wet                                  1907  Disarmed
          Guns                 15
          Barrack Accom. 2 Married Soldiers
          Present use          Caravan/ Chalet park & east
                               battery storage/museum
          History              Coast Defence                        Caponiers           None

                                                                    Counterscarp        None
          Disposal             Sold to Gosport Council 1932
          Condition            Good                                 galleries
          Access               Exterior only. East casemates open   Haxo casemates None
                               during Summer months.
          Sources              Stokes Bay Defences - D.Moore
                                                                    Moncrieff Pits      2

          History and Description

           No.2 Battery was completely encircled by its moat. Access was over a fixed bridge. It was first armed with 8-inch S.B.
           guns firing along the moat towards No.3 Battery and in the west facing casemates (Right Face) which fired in the rear of
           the Browndown Batteries. Two 68pr S.B. guns were to be mounted on its sea facing emplacements (South Face) which
           were approached by a long gun ramp. By 1886 the smooth bore guns had been replaced with twelve 7-inch 82cwt R.B.L.
           guns whilst the main sea facing armament of two 64pr R.M.L. guns was to be replaced with two 7-inch 7-ton RMLs on
           6ft parapet  mountings. In 1890 the decision was made to temporarily mount the 7-inch R.M.L.s on dwarf traversing
           platforms as no 6ft parapet mounting had been developed for this gun. The battery had magazine accommodation in the
           form of two shell stores and six cartridge stores. In 1890 cartridge stores 1 and 2 held 462 cartridges each whilst numbers
           5 and 6 held 192 cartridges each. Stores 3 and 4 had been removed. Shell store 1 held 390 rounds and shell store 2 held
           500 rounds.
           In 1890 it was decided to remove the No.10 gun, the centre gun of three on the left flank (the east facing casemates), and
           substitute the two remaining guns (nos 9 & 11) with Maxim machine guns on embrasure (cone) mountings to fire along
           the ditch. In 1891 the two sea facing emplacements were rebuilt to take two 7-inch 7-ton R.M.L. guns on Moncrieff
           disappearing carriages. A Sling Wagon Shed and Artillery General Store were build on the parade. One of the right face
           casemates, the northern one, was appropriated as a Married Quarter for two soldiers and their families. The other
           casemates were retained briefly as gun positions for the 7-inch 82cwt R.B.L. guns and as expense magazines, fuze and
           tube store and lamp room. No.2 Battery is a grade II  listed building and it is the best preserved of the Stokes Bay
           Batteries. Gosport Borough Council purchased the Battery in 1932 from the Home Office for £1,500. In 1933 the Council
           approved the use of the site as a caravan park. 1939 the Council moved their records from the town hall to the Battery for
           safe storage. During World War Two the battery was requisitioned for military use and after the war it was retained. In
           1947 it was being used by the Special Armament Development Establishment (S.A.D.E.) based in Fort Gomer. In 2010
           Gosport Borough Council were actively seeking a use for the structure, and the Historical Diving Society expressed an
           interest in acquiring it for a small museum to display their diving apparatus. In 2011 It opened as a museum.

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