The history of High Angle Battery

 Located on the isle of Portland, High Angle Battery is a late Victorian gun battery built to help defend Portland Harbour against invasion.

Constructed in the 1890s, its purpose was to fire shells at a high angle onto attacking ships below. The battery’s high position and network of below-ground buildings, tunnels and concealed gun emplacements made it almost invisible to enemy warships.

But, despite its formidable design, advancements in ship speed meant the site quickly became obsolete.  The battery went out of use after only 10 years, never firing a single shot in combat.

The site is a Scheduled Monument and over time has fallen into disrepair, and in 2022 it was placed on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

Rediscovering High Angle Battery

We’ve now secured a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional funding from Portland Town Council, Castletown D-Day Centre and Fine Family Foundation to improve and preserve the heritage of this historically important site.

Working closely with Portland Town Council, Island Community Action, heritage experts and the community, our Rediscovering High Angle Battery project aims to rejuvenate the site and help tell its story to a wider audience.

Project timeline

January 2023 – consulting with the community

Key partners, the community and volunteers are asked to outline improvements they want to see made to the site. 

March 2023 – creating a plan 

A plan to improve and preserve the heritage of High Angle Battery is created.

June 2023 – applying for a grant 

With the help of our partners, a bid is submitted to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a grant to help us deliver this project, with match funding from others.

September 2023 – securing funding

Our application is approved, and The National Lottery Heritage Fund awards us £250,000.

January 24 - heritage interpretation designers commissioned 

Smith & Jones are commissioned to develop innovative interpretation that will tell the story of High Angle Battery.  

March 2024 - collecting memories

At a drop-in event on Portland, past and present members of the community are invited to share photos, stories and memories about the site.

March to December 2024 – interpretation design and installation 

New interpretation displays installed at the site to help tell the story of High Angle Battery.

March 2024 – access works start

Work starts on creating new paths and access improvements to the site, making it more accessible to all.

April 2024 – heritage improvements to the site starting

Tudor Rose starts work to repair the heritage at the site.

May to September 2025

Events and activities take place.

How to get involved

We are seeking help from the community to help us tell the story of High Angle Battery.
If you have a photo, memory, or story of the battery you would like to share, we’d love to hear from you.  Visit the project’s storyboard to find out more.

Share your memories

Share your photo, memory or story of High Angle Battery.