Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales


Sandham Castle was built in 1537 close to where Sandown Fort stands but survived for less than a century as the cliffs eroded into the sea. The stone was used to rebuild a second castle in 1649, but again erosion caused the castle to be demolished in 1864.

During the mid 19th century a number of small Palmerston forts were built to protect the harbours and the eastern approach to the Solent. These were Bembridge and Sandown Forts along with five supporting gun batteries - Sandown Barrack, Nodes Point, Redcliff, Yaverland and Puckpool. Culver and Steynewood Batteries were added at the end of the century.

Sandown Fort 1862 Constructed of stone with armoured casemates close to the beach in the centre of Sandown Bay with eighteen 9" guns. Its defences were strengthened by the construction of additional batteries at Yaverland, Sandown Barrack and Redcliff and nine 10" RML guns. The fort was sold in about 1930 and after partial demolition and use as a private zoo only a small part of the original structure is still visible.
Sandown Barrack Battery 1861 - 63 On the edge of a cliff near Sandown, now a public garden.
Redcliff Battery 1863 Nothing remains as the coast has eroded at Culver Cliff.
Yaverland Battery 1863 Some structure remains and can be seen at Yaverland, north east of Sandown. Private.
Bembridge Fort 1867 Owned by the National Trust but derelict.
Culver Battery 1902 - 04 A coastal battery with 2 nine inch guns. It was in use until 1956 when it was filled in, though some excavation has since taken place. It is now a viewing point at Culver Cliffs.
Nodes Point Battery  
Steynewood Battery 1896 Used as a high angle battery with 6 nine inch guns to drop shells onto the less protected decks of attacking ships. Only in use for about 6 years. The site is private and used as a residence, no access.
Puckpool Mortar Battery 1865 Some of the battery has been demolished but the remains can be viewed. At Puckpool Point, 2 miles east of Ryde.

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