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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
                                                                     battery
               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
                                  Yarmouth
               Disposal           Armament removed 1947
               Condition          Derelict but Fair
               Access             Exterior views only.  Fenced off.

               Sources            Solent Papers no.2 Anthony
                                  Cantwell

               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
                garrison.

                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
                1944.

                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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