The Needles Old Battery & New Battery



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The threat of a French invasion prompted the construction in 1862 of this spectacularly sited fort, which now contains exhibitions on the Battery's Victorian past and involvement in both World Wars. Two of the original gun barrels are displayed in the parade ground and a 60-yard tunnel leads to a searchlight emplacement perched above the Needles Rocks giving magnificent views of the Dorset coastline beyond. An exhibition about the secret rocket testing programme is housed further up the headland at the Needles New Battery.

The Needles Old Battery & New Battery
West High Down,ALUM BAY,PO39 0JH


  • Suitable for children of all ages
  • Parking nearby
  • Cafe
  • Facilities: Ramp, hearing loops, photo album, wheelchair
  • Accessible toilets
Opening times
  • Opening Times: Old Battery open 11 Mar-29 Oct, daily 10.30-5 (last admission 4.30 or dusk if earlier). New Battery open 11 Mar-29 Oct, daily 11-4. Both properties will close in high winds

About the area

Discover Isle of Wight

There’s a timeless quality to the Isle of Wight. For many it embodies the spirit and atmosphere of English seaside holidays. Small and intimate – at just 23 miles by 13 miles – it’s a great place to get away from it all. And with its mild climate, long hours of sunshine and colourful architecture, it has something of a continental flavour.

Explore the island’s varied coastline at any time of the year using the well-established Coast Path. Even in the depths of winter, the weather conditions are often favourable for walking. The island has more than 500 miles of public rights of way in all. There are numerous other things to do too. You could plan a week’s itinerary and not set foot on the beach. The island’s history is fascinating and it was long considered as a convenient stepping stone for the French in their plan to invade the UK mainland. Various fortifications – including Fort Victoria, Carisbrooke Castle and Yarmouth Castle – reflect its key strategic role in the defence of our coastline.

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