If you’ve read the previous post detailing our coastal walk to the Ozanne Steps on Guernsey (and if you haven’t, why haven’t you?) then you’ll know that it was at that point that an old injury of my wife’s flared up making it incredibly difficult to walk without pain, especially on angled ground. This then triggered a decision to retrace our steps along the coastal walk we’d been undertaking as carefully as possible on our way back towards the island’s capital, St Peter Port.
We took our time heading back and stopped frequently so that she could take some weight off the hairline fracture and while I took some opportunities to snap a few photos I was understandably more concerned for my wife’s comfort than simply grabbing pictures, especially as I’d not been shy about snapping away on the walk coming the other way.
As we approached Clarence Battery the ground levelled off and the pain diminished so I got the nod that it was okay for me to spend a few minutes nosing around the 18th century defensive position.
Clarence Battery formed part of the outer defences of Fort George, itself a fortification designed to protect St Peter Port. The fort was commissioned in 1779 and the gun battery we were visiting was built in 1787. At the time the battery was known as Terres Point but it was renamed Clarence Battery in 1815 in honour of George III’s son when all the fortifications were completed. Four gun mounts aiming southwards and one at the very end protected against sea-based approaches while another five gun mounts were aimed more northerly in order to coordinate crossfire with Castle Cornet against more direct approaches to the capital city.
The battery was in very good condition with most of the various mountings, rails, and pivots for the guns pretty much as they were a couple of hundred years ago. During the German occupation of Guernsey in World War II some minor modifications were made to Clarence Battery and it served as part of the Luftwaffe’s early warning system.
Clarence Battery is free to enter and and only needs a few minutes of your time to look around. The views from the headland were absolutely lovely. It can be found at the top of a set of steps directly above the Guernsey Aquarium which would be our next stop.