Verne High Angle Fire BatteryVerne Hill Road, Portland, UK
Verne High Angle Fire Battery was built by 1895 at a total cost of £4,007. The Battery was also known as Verne Quarry Battery because it was built on the site of a quarry, just to the south of Verne Citadel. The Battery mounted six 12 ton 9-inch RML guns in a single gun line. Underground magazines, of cut and cover design, were positioned to the north and south of the main battery. A narrow gauge railway, the remains of which can clearly bee seen, allowed for the ammunition to be transported from the magazines to the guns.
Two Position Finding Cells and the Battery Command Post for Verne High Angle Fire Battery were built on the ramparts of Verne Citadel itself (West Cliffe). Another Position Finding Station, with three cells was built at East Cliff.
Between 1898 and 1899, at a cost of £5,504, a large bombproof shelter was built behind the line of gun pits and two additional gun pits were built on each side of the battery. No guns were ever mounted in these new pits, but they can still be seen.
Verne High Angle Fire Battery was decommissioned in 1907 (Owen Committee recommendation) and the six guns removed three years later.
The battery remains the one of the best preserved High Angle Fire Batteries in the United Kingdom with full public access. Steynewood High Angle Fire Battery in the Isle of Wight is probably a better example but is in private hands. Ghargur High Angle Fire Battery in Malta has a similar gun line, but the magazines are underground in the hill to the front of the battery.
A great web site for Porland’s Fortifications can be seen HERE .