Page 26 - IOW.dpd
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Victorian Forts                                             Portsmouth                 42

                                               Redcliff Battery

               Commenced          April 1861                         Armament
               Completed          September 1863
               Cost                  £ 4,776                         1869 to c1879 4 x 7-inch R.B.L.
               Map Reference      SZ 638855                          c1879 to 1892 4 x 64pr. R.M.L.s
                                                                     1892 to 1897 3 x 64pr. 58cwt. R.M.L.
               Position           South Wight, west of Culver Cliff,
                                  East of Yaverland
               Type               Coast Defence Battery
               Ditch              Dry
               Guns               4 (later 3)
               Barrack Accom. None (3 in a small guard room)
               Present use        Nothing substantial  remains

               History            Subject to slippage into the sea   Caponiers          2

               Disposal           Abandoned                          Counterscarp       None
               Condition          Nothing remains                    galleries
               Access             Site destroyed by land slippage
                                                                     Haxo casemates None
               Sources            Precis of Correspondence - 1893,
                                  Solent Papers No    1891 Armament book          Moncrieff Pits  None

               History and Description

                This battery was built close to the edge of a cliff to the west of Culver Cliff, about 1,000 yards to the
                east of Yaverland Battery and 150ft. above the sea.  Problems with slippage were evident right from
                the start. Its original armament was four 7-inch R,B.L. guns. The four guns faced seawards and
                behind no.2 gun was the main magazine for 190 barrels of powder. Beside the first three guns were
                shell recesses.  A ditch and Carnot wall surrounded the battery and reached to the cliff edge on either
                side. Two musketry caponiers covered both ditch and the line of the Carnot wall. The entrance to the
                battery was on the north west side over a drawbridge and immediately inside was a single building
                which contained guardroom and an artillery store. Its purpose was to assist Yaverland and Sandown
                Fort in preventing a landing in Sandown Bay. On the left flank part of the cliff began to give way in
                1867 and in 1868 it fell into the sea.  In 1887 it was decided to remove one 64pr. from the the left
                flank of the battery, no 4 gun, and to construct a traverse instead to prevent ships from enfilading the
                battery from the Culver Cliff area. The remaining 64prs. were to be blocked up on 6ft. parapet slides.

                By 1891 Redcliff was being slowly eroded by the collapsing cliff and it was decided to abandon it.
                The landward ditch was filled and all structures demolished.

                In 2008 a few vestiges of the concrete gun positions were visible in the collapsing cliff.

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