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YAVERLAND BATTERY

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Yaverland battery was constructed between April 1861 and March 1864 under the direction of Captain William Crossman, Royal Engineers. It was one of three batteries recommended by the 1859 Royal Commission on the Defences of the United Kingdom, along with Sandown Barrack and Redcliffe, to protect against landings in Sandown Bay. These batteries formed a defence system together with Sandown and Bembridge Forts. Designed as an open (rather than casemated) battery, due to the elevated position on the cliff top, its armament went through several changes. The original eight 7-inch RBL guns were replaced by eight 64pr RML guns before 1879 and these were reduced to seven mounted on 6ft parapet slides by 1892. The new concrete barbette emplacements for three 6-inch BL Mark VII guns were re-angled, again to prevent enfilade fire from the vicinity of Culver Cliff. During World War I, in 1915, the battery was reduced to two guns and defended by two machine-guns and barbed wire. During the 1920s two searchlights were installed in concrete shelters near water level for night practice. During World War II the battery was mainly used as a searchlight position although the battery was reactivated in April 1943 when two 6-inch BL Mark VII guns were reinstalled and manned by the Home Guard. To the east of the battery on the cliff top is a metal foundation plate, probably for a World War II searchlight battery.

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