Page 28 - Gosport Defences
P. 28

Victorian Forts                                             Portsmouth                       19e

                             Stokes Bay Lines Battery No. 5

          Commenced            1857                                 Armament
          Completed            1861
          Cost                  £ 75,120 for the Lines              1872  11 x 8-inch S.B.
                                                                    1890  4 x 7-inch R.B.L.
          Map Reference        SZ 60494 98094                       1901  4 x Maxim Machine Guns
          Position             Gosport Stokes Bay                   1904  Disarmed

          Type                 Coast Defence Flanking Battery
          Ditch                wet
          Guns                 4
          Barrack Accom. None
          Present use          Due for sale/disposal 2010

          History              Coast Defence
                               Admiralty campment then AMTE
          Disposal             2010
          Condition            Fair
          Access               None

          Sources              Stokes Bay Defences - D.Moore

          History and Description

           No.5 Battery was first armed with 68pr and 8-inch smooth bore guns. In 1872 it was proposed to replace them with nine
           7-inch R.B.L. guns. By 1886 these had been reduced to four. The battery had four expense stores, two for cartridges each
           with a capacity for 41 barrels of powder, later 288 cartridges each, one a shell store holding 153 shells and one an artillery
           store for side arms to operate the guns.

           To the rear of the battery was an Artillery General Store. In 1886 it was proposed to fit six 13-inch Sea-Service mortars on
           a platform in front of No.5 Battery. The platform is shown on a plan of 1892 but the armament was never fitted and the
           earthwork was then removed.The battery was armed with four machine guns in 1901 and was disarmed in 1904. At some
           time after 1892 the shell and cartridge recesses were modified to act as issue hatches enabling ammunition to be handed
           out to the gun platforms from the magazines. This may date from the time of the installation of the machine guns.

           The site was used by the Royal Navy post WWI.  Maps dated 1932 designate it as a ‘Royal Naval Camp’. Vernon  II
           occupied the site in the 1940s  as the School of Gunnery was  dispersed due to heavy air raids on Portsmouth. More
           buildings were added to the site between the 1950s and 1970s. In 1962 the Royal Naval Physical Laboratory took over the
           site, moving  from Peel Cottage, with its diving equipment and chambers.

           A road has been driven through the west salient of the battery destroying a gun emplacement. All five of the expense
           stores are extant. At least one gun emplacement with parts of its racers has been found beneath modern infill. The MOD
           site that surrounds the battery was until recently used by QinetiQ for research and development of diving equipment as
           part of the Royal Navy Physiological Research Laboratory. QinetiQ have now vacated the site and are hoping to sell it for
           development. In September 2010 some of the post 1900 buildings on-site were due to be demolished but the owners
           changed their mind in order to derive maximum value from a sale. The battery is a Scheduled Monument with statutory

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