Naval Giant at Southwick

Tower at Southwick
From the private collection of Eileen Heryet

Closely guarded secret

Between 1917/18 and 1920 at Southwick a closely guarded military secret was the reason for the construction of two giant towers.

Moved to Isle of Wight

They were still unfinished at the end of the war. One was dismantled and the other one towed away in September 1920 to the south east of the Isle of Wight where it was grounded on the sea bed to form a replacement for the Nab lightship.

Series of postcards

Joseph Gurney Ripley published 65 different cards of the towers, taken at every stage of their construction. This is no 34.

Comments about this page

  • These mysterious towers were originally intended to be used to support underwater submarine defenses in the channel, although I’ve no idea exactly what that means. Since the war was finished before they were, one of them was broken up and the other, as Eileen says above, was used to form the base of the Knab lighthouse (spelt with a “K”).

    By Jester the Clown (31/10/2010)
  • Here is some interesting cine film of one of those towers. As Eileen said, one was used for the Nab lighthouse

    By Michael Brittain (14/03/2011)

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