Page 40 - Bristol Defences
P. 40

Victorian Forts                                                 Portsmouth                   51

                                           Bouldnor Battery

          Commenced            1937                                 Armament
          Completed            1938
          Cost                  £                                   1938 2 x 6inch BL Mk VII
          Map Reference        SZ 379902                            1944 40mm Bofors added
          Position             East of Yarmouth                     1947 Disarmed
                                                                    1951 2 x 6-inch BL Mk VII from Cliff End
          Type                 Coast Defence Battery                1956 Stood down and disarmed
          Ditch                None
          Guns                 2
          Barrack Accom.
          Present use          Water storage

          History              Examination battery for East of
          Disposal             Armament removed 1947
          Condition            Derelict but Fair
          Access               Exterior views only.  Fenced off.

          Sources              Solent Papers no.2 Anthony

          History and Description

           This battery was built in 1937-8 to cover the new Examination Anchorage east of Yarmouth. It was armed with two
           6-inch BL Mark VII guns and had a battery observation Post west of the guns.  An engine room for three Crossley oil
           engines was situated to the right of the battery.  Two searchlights stood to the north of the battery, close to  the seashore.
           Between the gun emplacements was a concrete shelter for the gunners, sunk into the ground.  Each emplacement had its
           magazines below ground on its flank.  In 1939-40 a number of huts were built behind the battery to accommodate the

           In  1939  and  indicator  loop  was  laid  across  the  channel  east  of  the  battery.  an  anti-submarine  boom  and  controlled
           minefield  was  added  in  mid  1940  at  Hamstead  point,  east  of  Bouldnor,  both  operated  by  the  Royal  Navy.    A  rough
           concrete cover was added over each gun emplacement in 1940 to protect against straffing. In July 1941 the two MK VII
           guns were replaced with re-lined barrels. The battery was built on blue slipper clay and the two searchlights began to slide
           into the sea.  Because of this the battery was stood down in December 1942 but a 40mm Bofors AA gun was added in

           The battery was put into care and Maintenance in 1945 and the Bofors gun was removed.  The guns and searchlights were
           removed in 1947.  In 1951 the battery was re-activated when two 6-inch Mk VII from Cliff End Battery were installed.
           The eastern searchlight was built into a new wooden structure and the western one rebuilt in its old emplacement.  Three
           Lister diesels were fitted into the engine room.  Gun practice was carried out at the battery until November 1955 but hand
           operated hoists for ammunition supply from the magazines were used as the electric ones had been stripped out in 1948.
           When coast defence was disbanded in 1956 the battery was disarmed and everything was removed for scrap.The site was
           used for a while as a Naval Adventurous Training facility. In 1995 it was used as an innovative training facility by a
           company called SOL. The battery is still relatively intact although the overhead cover is in a dangerous condition and the
           magazines and crew shelters flooded for use as a static water tanks by the Forestry fence which prevents access to them
           for safety reasons.  In 2010 the trees in front of the battery were removed to give a view from the battery towards The
           Solent once more.

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