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Victorian coastal defence and secret rocket testing site perched high above the Needles Rocks

Perched high above the Needles at the extreme tip of the Island, with unrivalled views of the Solent and unspoilt countryside, is the Needles Old Battery a Victorian fort built in 1862 and used throughout both World Wars.

The Battery’s fascinating story is told in a series of newly recreated, atmospheric rooms, whilst vivid cartoons by comic book artist Geoff Campion illustrate the part it played in the history of modern Britain. There are two original guns on the Parade Ground and an underground tunnel leads to a searchlight emplacement with dramatic views over the Needles rocks.

A small exhibition in the underground rooms of The New Battery, further up the headland, reveals the astonishing and little-known story of Britain's Cold War 'race for space', when British-made rockets were tested here under conditions of great secrecy.

Visit our lovely tea-room

Make the most of your time with a walk on the headland followed by a tea-room treat. After you’ve felt the salt spray on your face and watched the waves crash on the Needles Rocks, where better to sit and rest awhile?

Join in the chat

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Tell us what you think about your visit to The Needles Old Battery and New Battery by filling in this short online survey. And, who knows, you may even win a holiday.

Into the space age

Discover the part played by the Needles in Britain's 'race for space' in the small exhibition at The New Battery. It's free to enter and there's also a refreshment kiosk. Opening times vary, so please check first.

There's more to explore on the Isle of Wight

There's plenty to discover on the Isle of Wight

There's plenty to discover on the Isle of Wight

Make a day of it, or longer, on the Isle of Wight. As well as The Needles Old Battery and New Battery we look after another four places across the island plus many acres of beautiful countryside. With sweeping sandy beaches, great cliff-top views and miles of wonderful walks, the island has lots to offer.