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TYNEMOUTH BATTERY

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The 19th and 20th century coastal defences on the headland at Tynemouth. During the 18th and early 19th century the walls of Tynemouth Castle were adapted for coastal gun batteries in response to threats such as French invasion attempts and the Napoleonic invasion preparations. By the late 19th century coastal defence batteries were rearmed to mount breech loading and high angle guns to counter attack from fast torpedo boats. Tynemouth was the principal defence of Tyneside, at this time the north of England's main outlet for iron and coal and the centre of shipbuilding and the manufacture of armaments. The earliest surviving above ground feature of this phase at Tynemouth, is one of two original emplacements for a six inch breech loading gun constructed in 1893. It is the most northerly of an arc of emplacements of different ages. Its gun pit is now filled by a Second World War concrete store building. Adjacent to this is an emplacement for a 9.2 inch breech loading gun constructed in 1902. Situated on the southern cliff there are positions for two 12 pounder quick fire guns also constructed in 1902. Adjacent to the latter batteries there are the restored underground magazines which stored ammunition and supplied the guns. The Tynemouth batteries were updated and operational during the First World War and additional buildings were constructed including a fire observation post and the new Admiralty signal station. These were demolished in advance of the construction of the new coastguard station in 1980. At the beginning of the Second World War the batteries were once again operational and one four inch naval gun emplacement was built which is visible in the extreme south east corner of the castle. The army remained in residence at the castle until 1960 at which time much of the modern military evidence was removed.

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