St Margaret’s 5.5″ Battery Shelter, Dover

One of the first cross channel batteries to built by the British in responses to the thread posed by the guns installed across the channel by the Germans was at St Margaret’s Bay near Dover. In 1940, the new battery was built and four 5.5″ naval guns that had been removed from the secondary armament of the battlecruiser HMS Hood during a refit were installed. The guns were installed into four specially constructed concrete gun houses stationed along the cliff top.  The battery was manned by 4 officer’s and 165 others serving ranks of the 411 Battery, part of the 540 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery. The batteries main anti aircraft defence was provided by an unrotated projectile battery, known as Z-Rockets.

At the rear of the gun emplacements, the 171 tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers dug out a shelter for the gun crews. The deep shelter has three entrances, two where located behind the guns emplacements and a third exit was located close to the cliff edge. The shelter consists of two parallel tunnels, with three cross passages used for additional accommodation and support services.

No traces remain of the gun batteries other than the deep shelter.

Modified: 27th Apr 2019