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Verne Citadel

Hob Uid: 451838
Location :
Dorset
Weymouth And Portland
Portland
Grid Ref : SY6932607353
Summary : Verne Citadel was a coastal battery built as part of Portland's coastal defences. Constructed between 1857-1881 it included a casemated barracks, redoubt and open batteries. The battery was first armed in the 1870s and by 1902 mounted 12.5-inch rifle muzzle-loading guns. The battery was disarmed in 1906. During the First World War the citadel was used as a heavy anti-aircraft battery and armed with a 6-pounder Hotchkiss gun and a 1-pounder heavy anti-aircraft (HAA) gun. It resumed this role in the Second World War and mounted four 3.7-inch HAA guns. The site is now used as a prison called HMP Verne, which occupies the southern part of the citadel.
More information : (Centred SY 693736) The Verne (NAT)
(SY 69337325) Redoubt (disused) (NAT) (1)

The Verne Fort or Citadel, enclosing an area of about 56 acres, was built to guard Portland Roads and Weymouth Harbour in 1860-7. Work was in progress until at least 1881. The ditches of great depth and width up to 70 ft deep and 120 ft wide were due to quarried stone being required for the formation of Portland Harbour breakwater. Bomb proof barracks were built under the southern earth rampart, the north and east flanks were barred by 'unscaleable' cliffs, and earthern open batteries were built on three sides of the area.

The Verne was given up as a defensive work in the 1900s but remained in military hands for many years until taken over by the Prison Commissioners. Verne Citadel Scheduled. (4). Only the casemated barracks and the extent of fortifications, including redoubt to the south, included in scheduling. Interior in active prison use. (5). (see plan). (2 - 5)

1. 5192 THE VERNE
Governor's House
SY 67 SE 2/124
II GV

2. 1870s. By Col. C. E. Cox R.E. Very exposed postition at top of cliff near south-east sally port. Irregular plan. Two storeys, Portland stone ground floor rusticated with plinth and plat bands. Bracketted eaves cornice to slate roof. Two and 3
windows to south, right hand bays slightly set back and lower with entrance to left. Windows arched on ground floor with rusticated surrounds, lintels and raised surrounds 1st floor, right hand bays with segmental headed gables over. Upper sashes have glazing bars. External chimney to north with heavy coved capping and panelled upper part. Three light bay window to east. Inside wide hall with large staircase. Moulded reveals to ground floor windows, rear arches in kitchen, roller type shutters in south-east room. Moulded architraves with corner roundels,
panelled door with beaded insertions. Vent shafts with hand-handles. Ventilation duct emerges in garden to south of south-east sally port.

1. 5192 VERNE ROAD
Four bridges over
former Merchants'
Tramway south-west
of The Verne's
SY 67 SE 2/150 south entrance

II

2.
Circa 1880. Four tall single span bridges of large ashlar masonry (Portland Roach stone) with rusticated voussoirs (one dated 1882). Low coped parapet. They bridge 2 branches off the former Merchants' Tramway (mid C19) to bring stone to Castletown piers from quarries. The impressive nature of the masonry is best appreciated from a point below the most northerly bridge.

1. 5192
THE VERNE
The Citadel:
Block House to
south of North Gate

SY 67 SE 2/147

II GV

2.
1870s. Former Sergeant's Quarters. Single storey Portland stone building with one window, glazing bar sashes to east and 2 lower projecting bays to north with door and 2 window return. Modillion block eaves cornice. Slate roof with a large chimney.

1. T5192
THE VERNE
The Citadel:
Gymnasium

SY 67 SE 2/149

II GV

2. Circa 1860s-1870s. Wide gabled building with a good deal of rustication. Built of Portland stone. East gable has 3 arches above entrance, centre pillar, and low chimney on coped apex. Arched doorway below and 2 flanking pairs of sashes. Return to south as 3+2+2 windows separated by buttresses, and central tail rusticated wall chimney with block modillion capping.

1. 5192
THE VERNE
The Citadel:
SY 67 SE 2/148 North Gate Gatehouse
II GV

2.
1870s. Former 'Office'. Low single storey Portland stone building. Modillion block eaves cornice. Slate hipped roof. Central door and flanking windows, barred.

1.THE 5192
VERNE
The Citadel:
Officers' block 'B'
SY 67 SW 2/143
II GV

2.
Circa 1870. Flanked by blast bunkers. 'H' plan 2 storeys. Coursed Portland stone with Roach stone rustication. Plinth, rusticated quoins, rusticated ground floor, band to 1st floor, modillion cornice and blocking course. Tall chimneys with
modillion block capping. 2+2+1+2+2 windows, arch headed sashes in rusticated surrounds. Projecting central porch with arched entrance and blocking course. Three window returns. Central 2 storey break to rear.

1. 5192
THE VERNE
The Citadel:
The Chapel

SY 67 SE 2/144

II GV

2.
Circa 1870s. Former Officers' Mess. U-plan. Tall single storey building of Portland stone with Roach stone rustication. Plinth. Rustic quoins. Ground floor rusticated to window heads. 2+3 window flanking entrance with blind arched voussoirs linked by import band. Modillion cornice and blocking course. Three chimneys with overlapped capping. Large rectangular porch, 2 arches to south and one to each side, central segmental headed entrance. Interior: East end screen: an arcade on 3 double columns.

1. THE5192
VERNE
The Citadel:
Blacksmith's Shop

SY 67 SE 2/145
II GV

2.
Racquet Court before 1879. Two storey Portland stone building, gable end to north rusticated. Side elevation divided into 7 by pier strips with central 1st floor opening. Gable end has 3 arches on ground floor with oculi over and a very large chimney with modillion block cornice above (6)

Documented. (7-9)

Verne Citadel located at SY 694 735. The citadel was planned in 1857 as part of the re-planning of Portland's defences. It was modified by the Royal Commission and first armed during the 1870s. By 1902 the citadel mounted 12.5-inch rifle muzzle-loading (RML) guns. Verne Citadel was disarmed in 1906 by recommendation of the Owen Review in 1905. (10-11)

Aerial photography from 1996 shows remains of emplacements and a number of original buildings clearly visible and in good condition. There are however a large number of modern buildings in the area, including some built over earlier features. (12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : OS 1:10000 1978
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Coast defences of England and Wales, 1856-1956
Source details :
Page(s) : 229,230
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1974
Source Number : 11
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England. Volume 6.2. Coast Artillery, 1900-1956
Source details :
Page(s) : 272
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6.2
Source Number : 12
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two Coastal Batteries
Source details :
Page(s) : 69
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Dorset
Source details :
Page(s) : 343
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1972
Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 82
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE (IAM) Record Form 24.04.72
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Weymouth & Portland Boro (Portland Ph) Dorset 21.09.78 30-3
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Longmate N. 1993. Island Fortress. The Defence of Great Britain 1603-1945, 334-344
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : 1949. Report of the Commissioners of Prisons, 1948, 66
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 1. Anti-aircraft artillery : England's air defence gunsites, 1914-46
Source details :
Page(s) : 286
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England. Volume 6.1. Coast Artillery, 1900-1956
Source details :
Page(s) : 176-181
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6.1

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1860-81
Monument End Date : 1881
Monument Start Date : 1860
Monument Type : Barracks, Fortification, Battery
Evidence : Building
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Closed in 1906
Monument End Date : 1906
Monument Start Date : 1906
Monument Type : Coastal Battery, Gun Emplacement
Evidence : Structure, Building
Monument Period Name : First World War
Display Date : First World War
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1914
Monument Type : Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Adapted for use as a prison in 1949.
Monument End Date : 1949
Monument Start Date : 1949
Monument Type : Prison
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : Erected in 1970s
Monument End Date : 1979
Monument Start Date : 1970
Monument Type : Prison, Cell Block, Gatehouse, Workshop
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DO 780
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 93953
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : S0013730
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Non Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : 2924
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SY 67 SE 44
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 868633
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1387753
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 451839
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : RCHME: PRISONS PROJECT
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-01
Associated Activities : THE VERNE CITADEL, PORTLAND
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : THE VERNE CITADEL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT VERNE CITADEL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT HMP THE VERNE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31