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A historic, 2-storey watchtower overlooking the Western Solent is due to be demolished.

A demolition application has been made to the Isle of Wight with plans for the wrecking balls to move in from 9th July.

The steel and reinforced concrete watchtower on the cliff edge above Fort Albert is currently closed to the public. Part of the cantilever roof lip on the upper storey has fallen off, although the majority of the structure remains.

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Local resident Daniel James has commented:

“Cliff End Battery is a locally-listed heritage asset, but there is no heritage report in this application for demolition. Local people are not aware of this application, which has only just been released to the press by the Isle of Wight Council, with 1 weeks’ notice of the end of the consultation on July 3rd.

“There are no details whatsoever of measures which could be taken to protect the Cliff End Battery or the adjacent Fort Victoria Site of Importance for Nature Conservation from damage during the demolition of the observation tower. Nor are there any details of measures which will be taken to restore the battery or the nature conservation site after demolition.

“The observation tower is a landmark on the cliff edge, and if repaired, could form a tourism asset offering a viewpoint for bird watchers and walkers on the coastal path.  As a former military station manned by soldiers from Golden Hill Fort and elsewhere, the battery could attract heritage grants for restoration, and the tower used to provide information to visitors about the history of the area.”

A video of the tower showing the original roof intact is available on Youtube.

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Objections or support for the demolition of the tower can be made at https://publicaccess.iow.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QBC63PIQKCH00.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Joe Bloggs

This is of historical importance and should be maintained and retained.

Danny Gaul

Sadly those who fought and many paying the price with their lives sadly it seems get little real respect from people today.
Although top council officials and MP’s stand heads bowed on Nov 11th, I wonder what they really are thinking of in those minutes.
The way they disregard ancient monuments, war heritage buildings and even the whole British culture seems it is ‘anything’ but those who paid the ultimate price.


Anyone can apply to get a building listed – you don’t have to own it -https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/apply-for-listing/

Old Mike

One of the difficulties with buildings of this nature is that they were only intended to do their job for the duration of the war, so they weren’t built with any long term view in mind. This means that preservation would be a very expensive job, paid for by the taxpayer, that is you and me. Multiply that by the number of similar buildings and think how much it would come to. Easier to preserve those of real historic interest and let the others go.

Danny Gaul

Whilst the first statement is true, as I have seen for myself that often the re-enforced concrete roof in ‘other’ similar war time temp buildings is made using iron re-enforced grids which ‘blows’ over time and the concrete then fractures, often the walls of such are sound.   There must be many of these ‘men in sheds’ bored, middle aged men, looking for a project if only to escape the ‘other half’ they are now otherwise stuck full time with.   If they could collude with trainees from the Isle of wight college from the building apprentiship guys, or, any… Read more »

Mary Jamerson

Plenty of people with time on their hands could do the work for free. And must be tons of cement nearing its sell by that builders could donate.
The IW college could use things like this as a project for the building classes.
Our council would though rather gift or waste tens of thousands on ‘consultation’ before they do anything that any ordinary builder would tell them for free.
That or destroy it. Nothing in between with them, nor their ears.


Makes you wonder why and who has applied to demolish it?
What plans have they for afterwards?
Quote: Cliff End Battery is a locally-listed heritage asset, but there is no heritage report in this application for demolition.
That is enough reason for the application to be thrown out.
But will it?


It’s NOT a Freshwater

Daniel James

Hello, the watch tower is within Freshwater parish, which begins on the north side of Colwell Chine Road and covers the coastline past Fort Victoria to the River Yar.

Hon. Steven W Lindsey

What is next? The Napoleonic coastal towers>

Last edited 1 month ago by Hon. Steven W Lindsey

Island heritage, Not A Priority, Obviously.

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