Braye Harbour, Alderney was designated as a Class C Commercial Harbour by the Home Ports Defence Committee, later the Home Defence Committee in 1900 and was therefore armed to resist unarmoured cruisers and block ships.
Between 1856 and 1859 extensive fortifications were constructed on Alderney with the intention of establishing a Harbour of Refuge at Braye. Jersey and Guernsey had both been considered as alternatives. So important were these works at the time, that Queen Victoria visited Alderney on three occasions in 1854, 1857 and 1859.
The key Royal Engineer involved in the design and construction of the fortifications was Sir William Jervois. At that time Jervios was a Captain but would end his career ad the Governor of South Australia having played an active part in the building of British fornications around the World.