Page 14 - Bristol Defences
P. 14

Victorian Forts                                             Portsmouth                       23

                                       Eastney Battery West

          Commenced            1861                                 Armament
          Completed            1863
          Cost                  £ 17,435                            1893   1 x 6-inch BL HP
          Map Reference        SZ  670988                                4 x 64pr 58cwt. RML
          Position             Eastney Barracks / Sea Front         1898
                                                                    West Flank   2   machine guns
          Type                 Coast battery / beach defence        Cavalier     1 - 64 pdr. R.M.L.  1-6 inch B.L.
          Ditch                Dry                                  Sea Face    1 - 6 inch B.L.
                                                                    South East Angle  1 Machine Gun
          Guns                 11                                   1898 3 x MG added
          Barrack Accom. 0                                          1 x 64pr. to be replaced by 1 x 6-inch BL
          Present use          Private garden for nearby residents  1907 Disarmed
                               (Teapot Row)
          History              Continued military use R.M. C.O.s    Caponiers           1 &  2 x open
                               garden                                                   bastions?
          Disposal             1993 sold with Marine barracks       Counterscarp
          Condition            Reasonable, part filled in           galleries           None
          Access               None
                                                                    Haxo casemates None
          Sources              1891 Armament Book
                                                                    Moncrieff Pits      None (1 x H.P.)

          History and Description

           Eastney Battery West was constructed as a mirror image of its twin Eastney Battery East. It’s
           armament was virtually the same with the exception of the provision of Maxim machine guns on
           parapet mountings in 1898. The main magazines of both batteries were reinforced in the early 1900s
           by partial filling with concrete on the seaward sides. Each fort received a 6-inch B.L. of 5 tons on a
           hydropneumatic disappearing mounting Mark IV with associated Battery Command Post and
           telephone room on top of the cavalier. It is most likely that the batteries were to be manned in time of
           need by marines from the barracks which occupied a considerable area to the north of the batteries.
           The batteries acted as beach defence and were connected to each other by a parapet and covered way
           which also provided protection for the barracks and parade ground.

           The west battery served for some years as the gardens of the Commanding Officer Royal Marines
           Easney Barracks and until recently the hydropneumatic disappearing gun pit was used to contain a
           greenhouse whilst the magazines were employed as a tool store and the artillery store was used as a
           potting shed. The moat and left (east) caponier have been completely removed. The south and west
           moat and the open bastions at the south east and south west angles have been filled in to the level of
           the carnot wall.
           Following the release of the marine barracks complex in 1993 the battery was included in the sale,
           with the proviso that it was to remain undeveloped and incorporated into a sympathetic development.
           possibly for recreational purposes. The proposal suggested that it could be used as a private space for
           hotel guests. It, like its brother, is a listed building. In 1996 the developer began clearing the site for
           use as a private garden for the use of nearby residents (of Teapot Row).

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