The Needles Batteries were constructed between 1861-95 for coastal defence against a threat of invasion by France. The
Batteries are on the most westerly point of the Isle of Wight and overlook one of Britain's most famous coastal landmarks,
the Needles. Click HERE for a map showing the location.
The Batteries played an important role in the defence of southern Britain during two world wars. Between 1956-71 the New Battery was used by Saunders Roe for testing the Black Knight and Black Arrow space rocket engines, prior to the rockets being shipped to Woomera for launching. The Batteries, and the surrounding downland, were acquired by the National Trust in 1975 and after extensive restoration work the Old Battery was opened to the public in 1982. The surviving buildings are maintained to a high standard by the National Trust and its team of volunteer helpers.
Spectacular views of the Solent, Dorset and Hampshire are visible from the ramparts, and the old searchlight emplacement, at the end of a 65 metre tunnel, provides the closest view of The Needles from land.
For other National Trust properties and countryside on the Isle of Wight click HERE