From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Heugh Battery

County Durham
54° 41' 49.6" N 1° 10' 35.9" W

  • History
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
Heugh Battery is a gun battery located at Hartlepool in County Durham. It was one of three batteries built in 1860 to protect the port of Hartlepool.

The first two batteries were Heugh and Lighthouse, these were placed close to the lighthouse. Heugh Battery was armed with four 68 pounder smoothbore guns and Lighthouse Battery was armed with two. The third battery was placed at Fairy Cove and mounted three of the 68 pounders.

Heugh Battery was modified to accept three 64 pounder rifled muzzle loading guns in the 1880's but these soon became obsolete when the Lighthouse Battery was modified to take a BL 6 inch MKVI gun. Two more of these were placed in the new Cemetery Battery which was sited to the north. These breech loading guns were far more efficient.

Heugh Battery was not to be left out, for in 1900 the battery was again refitted to take two BL 6 inch Mk VII guns in the now standardised format of two firing platforms with an underground magazine between them. Lighthouse Battery was modified to accept the newer MK VII in 1907 and the Cemetery Battery was closed.

Heugh and Lighthouse Batteries saw action on December 16th 1914, when a German fleet began bombarding Hartlepool. A shell from the Germans landed 100 meters from Heugh Battery killing the first soldier on British soil in World War I.

1936 brought more changes to the two batteries. Heugh and Lighthouse were merged to become one unit. A Barr and Stroud rangefinder was installed but this was soon updated at the beginning of World War II when new rangefinding and fire control equipment was installed. The role of the battery changed slightly in 1942 in include Anti Aircraft measures. Heugh Battery was again updated to take 6 inch MK24 guns and a third gun emplacement built 100 meters to the north.

By 1944 the battery was closed, it was no longer required for the war effort. It reopened in 1947 with the installation of QF 3.7 inch AA guns but by 1956 it closed for good. Major coastal defence batteries were now obsolete.

The battery has reopened, but now it is a museum operated by the Heugh Gun Battery Trust.