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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The Verne Citadel, Portland
The Verne Citadel dominates the highest point of the peninsula of Portland, just west of Weymouth harbour in Dorset. Construction on the Citadel began in 1857, mainly by prisoners, and a number of modifications were made after the Royal Commission of defences in 1859. It is surrounded by a dry ditch, flanked by caponniers and built using the stone from the quarries on top of the Verne. It's main armament was 7-inch Rifled Muzzle Loading Guns, and it formed the barracks for East Weare 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D' batteries and the nearby High Angle Battery. The Citadel itself is now used as a prison, and therefore the inside cannot be viewed, but some interesting features can be seen from the coastal path which follows the perimeter of the fort. There are also the remains of a WW2 emergency battery, Anti-Aircraft battery and a Cold War ROTOR site which can be seen nearby, showing that the site was of military importance for over a hundred years after the Citadel's construction.
Although, the Citadel is a prison and cannot generally be visited, the view from the perimeter is impressive, and worth the walk!
Plan of the Citadel & Batteries, courtesy of the PFS
Main entrance to the Verne Citadel
Defensive positions protecting the entrance
Inside the ditch
Entrance to cistern
Ditch and flanking gallery above
Caponnier under the bridge
Yeates' Incline (leading to the quarries and High Angle Battery)
Looking down the incline
Remains of WW2 battery in front of the Citadel
Looking down to 'A' Battery below
Casemates of 'A' Battery, from the Verne
Tip of the ditch of the Citadel
Looking down to one of the Portland Breakwater Forts