The Needles battery was built on the cliff top above the stacks in 1861–63 to guard the West end of the Solent. It was initially equipped with 7" Armstrong RBLs, which were replaced by 9" RMLs in 1873. Early searchlight experiments were conducted in 1889–92, just after which the new battery was built higher up the cliff. In 1903 the old guns were considered obsolete and thrown off the cliff. During World War I early trials of anti-aircraft guns were carried out, and the site saw action in World War II. The new Needles guns were scrapped in 1954. The headland was used for Black Knight rocket tests from 1956–71, and the site is now open to the public, owned by the National Trust.
Military - Historic - Forts and Batteries