Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Steep Holm (Every seagulls final resting place?) - August 2013

  1. #1
    Join Date
    February 2013
    Location
    E.A.S.T.
    Posts
    27
    Thanked
    192

    Default Steep Holm (Every seagulls final resting place?) - August 2013


    Having been allowed a day off during our family break in Somerset, I set off for a day on Steep Holm for some "me time." A mighty fine day out it was too :)

    Steep Holm is an English island lying in the Bristol Channel. The island covers 48.87 acres (19.78 ha) at high tide, expanding to 63.26 acres (25.60 ha) at mean low water. At its highest point it is 78 metres (256 ft) above mean sea level. It lies within the historic boundaries of Somerset and administratively, it forms part of North Somerset.

    The island serves as a wind and wave break, sheltering the upper reaches of the Bristol Channel. The island is formed of Carboniferous Limestone and is geologically a continuation of the Mendip Hills at Brean Down. The island is now uninhabited and protected as a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), since 1952. Nearby is Flat Holm island (Welsh: Ynys Echni), part of Wales.

    According to legend in the 6th century Saint Gildas lived on Steep Holm visiting his friend Saint Cadoc, who lived on Flat Holm as a hermit. Gildas supposedly left the island to become Abbot of Glastonbury.

    Both Steep Holm and Flat Holm were fortified in the 1860s as a defence against invasion. They form part of a line of defences, known as Palmerston Forts, built across the channel to protect the approaches to Bristol and Cardiff.

    The island was fortified following a visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to France, where they had been concerned at the strength of the French Navy. The Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom, under direction of Lord Palmerston, recommended fortification of the coast and the island formed part of this strategic coastal defence system. Construction began in 1865 and was completed in 1869.

    Steep Holm has several gun batteries, some of which are Scheduled Ancient Monuments, and a centralised group of brick-built barrack blocks.

    These facilities were updated in both World War I and World War II; in World War II, search light batteries were built on Steep Holm. The Steep Holm batteries were also connected, by underwater telegraph cable, to the Brean Down Fort batteries, but parts of the cable were stolen for scrap after the end of World War II.

    Worth noting also is the 40mm Bofors gun was not part of the island's Second World War weaponary. This was donated to the trust a few years ago and air lifted into place. The concrete bases, of which there are six, would have infact supported rocket launchers.

    The island is now owned by the Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust, a charity which took over the administration of Steep Holm in 1974 in memory of the broadcaster and naturalist Kenneth Allsop, and purchased it in 1976 for £10,000. The mission statement of the Trust is: "To protect, preserve and enhance for the benefit of the public the landscape, antiquities, flora, fauna, natural beauty and scientific interest of the island of Steep Holm in the County of North Somerset and to advance the education of the public in the natural sciences."

    Visits can be made to the island. The trust runs day-long boat trips from Weston-super-Mare. One barrack block is in use to provide visitor facilities.

    Anywhos, on with the snapshots...


    Greeted by an Inn, on arrival. I was disappointed to discover last orders had been called some time ago! Flat Holm in the distance.



    No bed or breakfast here...



    or indeed room.



    Appropriated during WWI, from the Germans this 60cm gauge railway was laid to assist in the WWII fortifications. Driven by a diesel engine and pulleys it pulled materials to 256ft above sea level onto the islands plateau. The picture does not do the incline justice... it was steep!



    From the now unused South Landing looking up to a searchlight post. The rusting pulley protruding from the left was used to winch goods/materials from the sea below.



    View from the searchlight post above South Landing.



    A 40mm Bofors gun, donated to the trust. A Rocket Laucher would have infact been positioned here during WWII.



    40mm Bofors gun details.



    Rudder Rock WWII observation post.



    This 7 ton canon was removed from its mount in 1898 when an experimental bombardment took place to test new defences.



    WWII observation post hinge detail.



    Winch on South Landing detail and rusty ring on canon emplacements.


    7 ton canon at Split Rock. The upright mount was a Georgian canon buried to provide a pivot.



    Summit Battery from behind.



    Inside Summit Battery.





    Steps up to the gun emplacement in Summit Battery.



    Obligatory old rusty nuts.



    Flat Holm through an old stores window and the very last standing remains of the nissen huts, demolished in the 1950's.



    A spot of early friendly fire?



    Farmhouse building.


    Thanks for looking and for those so inclined there's a few extra ones in my signature.

  2. Thanks given by: Ade Somerset, Andymacg, at home, Big Bill, Boatbird, Bunker Bill, ducatidevil1, etc100, Faing, flyboys90, godzilla73, GuruMatt, krela, leehebrides, leftorium, LittleOz, Mills25, night crawler, oldscrote, paymaster, RichardH, RichCooper, shane.c, silver surfer, Sshhhh..., Stealthstar79, sweet pea, The Archivist, The Wombat, Tommy1uk, Winch It In
  3.  
     
  4. #2
    Join Date
    October 2012
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,152
    Thanked
    1963

    Default


    Cracking pics!
    What a lovely place,
    Thanks..
    “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

  5. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  6. #3
    Join Date
    January 2009
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    216
    Thanked
    31

    Default


    Great post. Lots of really good pictures.
    Nikon D 7100, Nikon 16-85 f3,5-5,6 VR, Nikon 70-300 f4,5-5,6 VR, Manfrotto 055 ProB, Giotto MH-652, (Sony RX 100 for snapshots)

  7. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  8. #4
    Join Date
    March 2013
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Age
    43
    Posts
    1,677
    Thanked
    2699

    Default


    I'd never heard of these islands before, so rushed off to get the map
    Interesting stuff, and good photos too
    Black cat exploring company
    & LSD - Leicester Super Derpers

  9. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  10. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    The Centre of England or near enough
    Posts
    7,213
    Thanked
    4649

    Default


    Ace report & photos thanks for sharing.

  11. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  12. #6
    Join Date
    November 2011
    Location
    Greater Manchester
    Posts
    988
    Thanked
    1100

    Default


    Interesting place, great report, thanks:)
    He who binds to himself a joy. Does the winged life destroy.
    But he who kisses the joy as it flies. Lives in eternity's sunrise.

    My Flickr

  13. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  14. #7
    Join Date
    December 2010
    Location
    Doncaster
    Posts
    844
    Thanked
    1526

  15. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  16. #8
    Join Date
    June 2009
    Location
    West Sussex
    Age
    49
    Posts
    652
    Thanked
    300

    Default


    An excellent set of pictures, when you are talking about the concrete bases for rockets do you mean those for a Z battery or something else like signal flares?
    It was me I ate all the pies.

    My Defence of Britain overlay for Google Earth - Download it here.

  17. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  18. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Epsom, Surrey
    Age
    57
    Posts
    682
    Thanked
    1073

    Default


    Looks fascinating, thanks for sharing. It's flat Welsh neighbour looks interesting, too, especially as it also has a derelict hospital (and somewhere to land ones helicopter).
    Old enough to know better

  19. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
  20. #10
    Join Date
    October 2010
    Location
    Leicester
    Posts
    62
    Thanked
    29

    Default


    Excellent report!

    I was only yesterday looking out to this and was wondering if there was anything their!

    Looks well worth a visit!

  21. Thanks given by: thebeachedwattle
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Little Oak Place - Middlesex - Jan 2013 [Pic heavy]
    By MrDan in forum Residential Sites
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 7th Jan 13, 23:07
  2. Potters Manor/Steep Park
    By abel101 in forum Residential Sites
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 14th Aug 12, 20:51
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 15th Nov 10, 14:01
  4. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 22nd Mar 09, 19:31

About us
DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
Follow us