Page 14 - Milford Haven Defences
P. 14

Victorian Forts                                                     Milford Haven              6

                                           Dale (Point) Fort

           Commenced          c1851                                  Armament
           Completed          c1856                                  1857-1869     7 x 68pr.
           Cost                  £  unknown
           Map Reference      SM 823051                              1870s         Disarmed
           Position           Dale Point

           Type               Coast Battery with defensible barracks
           Ditch              Dry : Landward side
           Guns               Main battery 7
           Barrack Accom.     3 officers and 62 men
           Present use        Field Studies Centre

           History            Trials of Zalinsky Dynamite gun        Caponiers             None

           Disposal           Sold by War Office in 1902             Counterscarp          None
           Condition          Good                                            galleries
           Access             By arrangement with Field Study                              None
                              Centre                                 Haxo casemates
           Sources            1858 &1868 Committee Reports,  Precis of Correspondence
                              prior 1893 National Archives, 'A Short History of Dale Fort' by
                              S.L. Morrell                           Moncrieff Pits        None

        History and description

         A work (battery) was recommended for Dale Point since 1829 but nothing was done until General Sir John Burgoyne reiterated the need
         for such a work in 1850. During the 1850s the battery was constructed, no definite dates can be given as official records are silent but it had
         been completed by 1858.  The battery was originally proposed to prevent an enemy making use of the anchorage at the mouth of the haven.
         In 1858 the main battery was criticised as being too close to the rock face behind it rendering it potentially untenable during a
         bombardment; perhaps the criticism stuck as in 1871 it was proposed that the battery at Dale Point be abandoned and its armament and
         stores withdrawn. in 1876 it was proposed that; a few heavy guns should be placed at Dale Point Battery to co-operate with Thorne Island
         and the Battery at Dale Point  be remodelled to receive them. This was not carried out.

         The Fort was the test site for the Zalinski Dynamite gun during 1890s in the event the gun was not adopted as technology had overtaken it.
         There were plans for a Brennan Torpedo establishment and a battery of 6-inch guns however nothing came of these either.

         The War Office sold the Fort in 1902 to Lieutenant-Colonel Own-Evans (RE) who converted it into a private residence for himself and his
         family; he died in 1925 and the Fort was bought by a Miss Bland (later Mrs. Lee-Roberts). During the Second World War the Admiralty
         requisitioned the Fort for use as a de-gaussing and mine watching station. The Fort was returned to Mrs. Lee-Roberts by the Admiralty in
         1946, she sold the Fort the next year to the forerunners of the Field Studies Council.

         The Fort is situated at the end of the Dale peninsula and is cut off from it by a ditch that reaches down to the shoreline on either side of the

         The ditch is covered by a tiered loophole wall which at its highest point forms a plateau where a battery shaped like a Tudor bulwark, with
         embrasures for three guns projects out into the ditch covering it on both sides. Inside the Fort are separate soldiers and officers barracks
         stores and magazine; the gun battery is at the eastern end of the site, and is tiered in that the first four guns are at a slightly lower level than
         the last three, all fired en barbette; originally there was a small magazine behind the four gun battery but this has gone. Alterations over the
         years have been made, notably an accommodation block has been built on top of the main magazine. The Dynamite gun position survives
         outside the dining area together with the underground chamber.

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