Lion Battery

Posted on April 4, 2022 / 23
Listing Type : Coastal Battery
Location : South Africa

Lion Battery is located on a spur above Fort Wynyard.  The 1878 Colonial Defence Committee did not consider Lion Battery, and it was first raised in 1886 as the battery on the spur of Lion’s Rump. Two 9-inch RML guns were recommended for the site, and this confirmed the following year for what was now called Lion Battery.  The battery lies on the same Military Road as Tamboers Kloof Magazine.

Construction of Lion Battery commenced in 1888 with work completed a decade later.  The site initially consisted of the the two 9-inch RML guns on Garrison Carriages with ‘C’ pivots.  The Battery cost a total of £3,869 to construct.  There magazines were underground between the two gun pits, and there was a DRF pedestal out on the east edge. (TNA WO 78/4291).  It is believed that two 7-inch RML guns, moved from Fort Knokke, were used at this site before the arrival of the 9-inch RML guns.

On the 1st June 1911 work commenced on upgrading Lion Battery to one with two two 9.2-inch Mark X BL guns.  The new battery coast a total of £16,400.  The original 9-inch RML was largely built over, although the Number 1 (A)  gun and underground works survived.  The Battery was surrounded by a perimeter fence and five blockhouses.  Two Position Finding Cells (PFC) were built out to the west where the old DRF had been, and three cell off to the west.  Three additional blockhouses were built to protect these PFCs.  The blockhouses were in effect pillboxes, although five of them were more triangular in shape.  The blockhouses had Rotax searchlights fitted for night illumination.

In World War 2 one of the 9.2-inch guns was moved to Apostle Battery in Hout Bay.

During World War 2 the battery was armed with six-inch Mark XIX BL guns.  The pits for these guns were built over the two old 9.2-inch emplacements, and the 9-inch RML emplacement.

Four 12-pdr MArk III Quick Fire Guns were later added adjacent the old 9-inch RML gun position as a saluting battery.  These guns are dated from 1886  and it is suspected they were remove South Pier Elbow Battery.

The site is now locally often called Signal Hill.

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