As detailed in our Cookie Policy, like most sites Strolling Guides uses cookies to enhance your experience, and to share information about how you use our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Unless you disable cookies in your browser, using this website means you consent to this.

Bembridge and Culver Downs

The narrow ridge of chalk that starts above Lulworth Bay in Dorset, runs across the Isle of Purbeck before plunging into the sea at Old Harry Rocks only to reemerge at the Needles where it forms the backbone of the Isle of Wight and eventually reaches its end at Culver Down.

Not the most spectacular of endings, but a fine, breezy spot with great views across to the mainland.


Culver Battery

Location

Iow Map

OS Ref: SZ 636 855

Last Visited: 2014

Culver Battery

Culver Battery

Culver Battery was one of a chain of fortifications built to defend the sea approaches to Portsmouth.

The original proposals to build the battery were made in 1887, but they were were postponed, and the battery was not completed until 1906.

The battery has two gun emplacements originally housing 9.2" Mark V breach loading guns. These were upgraded to Mark VI mountings in 1924 which allowed elevations to 30" and range of almost one mile. It was manned in both world wars.

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Bembridge Fort

Location

Iow Map

OS Ref: SZ 623 860

Last Visited: 2014

Bembridge Fort

Bembridge Fort

Bembridge Fort is a Victorian Palmerston fort part of which is occupied by a factory and the remainder is in a derelict condition. It is slowly being restored by volunteers and is now open for volunteer-run guided tours.

See the National Trustʼs web site, detailed below, for further information.

According to the plaque at the entrance:

The Entrance

The Entrance

Bembridge Fort was a part of the extensive defence system built by the Palmerston administration against possible invasion by French forces of Napoleon III. Constructed 1862-1867, at a cost of £48,925 as the main stronghold for the south coast of the Isle of Wight, with an establishment of three officers and one hundred other ranks and ordnance of two 4" breech-loading and six muzzle-loading guns mounted on parapet slides.
1880-1900Experimental base for anti-submarine devices.
1900-1914Training camp and garrison duties.
1914-1920Heavy artillery coastal defence.
1920-1939Territorial army observation post for artillery based at Yaverland Battery.
1939-1945Command post for anti-aircraft regiments and H.Q. Local Home Guard.
1948The War Department relinquished control.
1965Purchased by I.W. County Council. Scheduled as an Ancient Monument.
1967Acquired through Enterprise Neptune together with surrounding downland for the National Trust
A Caponier

A Caponier

Beneath it is another plaque which reads:

1940-1945
This plaque is in honour of the men and women of the Royal Artillery, Royal Navy, Womenʼs Royal Naval Service, the Royal Air Force and Womenʼs Auxiliary Air Force who served their country at Bembridge Fort and Culver during World War Two.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Bembridge Fort
      National Trust handbook entry
      https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bembridge-fort

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

The Yarborough Monument

Location

Iow Map

OS Ref: SZ 633 856

Last Visited: 2014

The Yarborough Monument

The Yarborough Monument

The Yarborough Monument was erected by the committee of the Royal Yacht Squadron to remind yachtsmen of their first Commodore.

It was initially sited further to the west on the downs but was moved to its present position to allow Bembridge Fort to be built.

The plaques on two sides of the monument read:

To the memory of Charles Anderson Pelham, Earl of Yarborough, Baron Yarborough of Yarborough in the County of Lincoln, Baron Worsley of Appledurcombe in the Isle of Wight, D.C.L. F.R.S. F.S.A. &.&. whose benevolence, kindness of heart and many virtues endeared him to all who knew him. This monument was erected as a testimony of affection and respect by public subscription.
As the owner of large estates, he was one of those most conspicuous for the qualities which regularly adorn that station, and as the first commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron he was eminent in fostering and encouraging by his example and liberality all that was calculated to improve the science of naval architecture. and to advance the maritime interests of his country.
He died on board his yacht The Kestrel in the port of Vigo in Spain, September 5th 1846, aged 65.

So basically a posh bloke who was reasonably okay. Mind you he did get his crew to sign a paper volunteering to be fogged if the need arose, but at least he paid them an extra shilling a week for agreeing

External Links and References

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.