Posted on September 19, 2020 / 29
Listing Type : Defended Commercial Port
Location : Channel Islands

During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic War, Jersey was fortified with coastal defences at possible landing places. These defences included towers, batteries with two or three guns and some small forts.

In 1830 France again faced unrest and Colonel Lewis of the Royal Engineers prepared two reports on the defences of Jersey.  One was completed in October 1831, covering the North and West Coasts, and the second a year later. covering the East and South Coasts.  This split was because the States of Jersey maintained the West and North fortifications while the British Government dealt with the remainder.  The reports found most of the fortifications in a poor state of repair and recommendations were made for improvements and new works such as Cartel Fort at Greve de Lecq.  By 1848 much of the work was still not fully completed and there are doubts that all the work was every fully carried out.

In 1870 the first RML guns were introduced to Jersey.  A total of thirteen 7-inch RBL guns that were to be mounted at five locations:

Distribution of 7-inch RBL guns

                   LOCATION                    NUMBER OF 7-inch RBL

                  Fort Regent                    4 guns

                  Elisabeth Castle             3 guns, Lower Keep Battery

                  St Aubin’s Fort               3 guns

                 Havre des Pas Tower    1 gun

                 South Hill Battery          2 guns, later upgraded to 4.7-inch guns

Plans were also advanced to arm the various towers with 64-pdr RML guns, but in 1879 many were still armed with the old 32-pdr SB guns. Plans were also drawn up for two 6-inch guns on disappearing mounts in the South Hill Redoubt, and two 9-inch RML HAF guns in the excavated area immediately behind (North) South Hill Battery.  Also proposed were three 10-inch RML at Noirmont Point although this never appears to have been completed.  Elizabeth Castle was to have two 64-pdr RML guns mounted behind the Grand Battery, and two 7-inch RML guns in the Upper War.

By 1884 all of the Jersey North Coast defences had been decommissioned.  By early 1900s all the works had been disarmed except Havre de Pas Tower.

This was designated as a Class C commercial port by the  Home Ports Defence Committee, later the Home Defence Committee and armed to deal with unarmoured cruisers and block ships.

A single coastal defence battery was built at South Hill with two 6-inch Q.F. gun.  There was also a pair of 4.7-inch QF fire guns mounted on the Upper Keep Battery of Fort Elisabeth.  Between 1905 and 1905 a pair of 6-inch Q.F. guns were mounted on the top of the Havre des Pas Tower as a Practice Battery.  This Tower had previously mounted a 7-inch RBL gun.

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