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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Langdon Searchlight Battery

These Coastal Artillery Searchlights were built in WW2 to allow the illumination and identification of ships coming into an area of sea directly below the important cross-channel gun batteries. They are cut into the cliff face in Langdon Bay and are accessed by a passage hewn into the chalk. There were originally three emplacements, but the Western most one has been destroyed by a cliff fall. Unfortunately, the metal shutters in front of the surviving emplacements are rapidly deteriorating.

These emplacements can be visited by descending the zig-zag path down to the bay from Langdon Hole above, and at low tide the wreck of a 1902 ship, the 'Prussen', can be seen.

View from the cliff path

View from the beach
Wreck of the 'Prussen' in Langdon Bay
Close-up of one of the searchlight placements, from outside
Entrance into passage
Inside first placement
Rear
Looking along passage to other placement
Inside the second placement
Chalkfall in section leading to third searchlight

9 comments:

Magpie said...

I stumbled upon this Battery back in the late 70's when I was a child. Back then the steel shutters were still intact and closed, other than the first bay, so it was too dark to explore.

Thank you for the pictures!

Subterranean Explorer said...

I expect the condition of the place was a lot better then. Thanks for visiting the site!

Authun said...

I went there a while back..my friend needed a poo n did one in there n it stunk!!... just wondering what the date is on these pictures?

Colin G said...

Nice, thanks for sharing that with us.

I think the pics were taken in 2004maybe 2005, with my old camera, hence the quality.

Anonymous said...

The shipwreck is not the prussuen,its the ss falcon,its been there since 1926,the prussuen was towed off the rocks and later sank,I believe.

Barwick Green said...

I happened across these in about 1980. Can confirm it was all a good deal darker and spookier due to the metal canopies being intact. Thanks for the memories. Great site.

brianbrookespayne@gmail.com said...

My wife and I first explored this site in 1965 and at that time the fual tanks for the anti-invasion defences were still intact embeded in the side of the path down the cliff to the site. In event germans trying to get up the path, the tanks of petrop/oil mixture would have been ignited, the same as the "sea of flame" that was installed in St Margarets and other places in the southeast.

Unknown said...

Access to beach now impossible without ladders as a cliff fall has knocked out the last section of path.

Unknown said...

went there yesterday bridge at bottow has gone so cant get to them now