Monument record SLY 094 - Royal Navy Training Establishment, Shotley.

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Shotley Battery and Royal Navy Training Establishment at Shotley Point.


Grid reference Centred TM 24690 33888 (928m by 673m)
Map sheet TM23SW


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

The remains of a 19th century gun battery, and a 20th century Royal Navy training establishment are visible on aerial photographs as a range of structures from 1944 onwards, centered on TM25013393. The construction of Shotley gun battery began in 1861, in an attempt to improve upon the Napoleonic defences of Orwell Haven. Completed in 1865, the battery housed 14 68 pounder guns. The battery was intended as a supplementary defence, and was never intended to be permanently manned. Instead it was maintained and staffed by permanent staff at Harwich, except in times of emergency when artillery volunteers would man the guns. A navy hospital was established on Shotley Point in 1902, and with the transfer of HMS Ganges from Ipswich to Shotley in 1905, the area became the location of a 'boys training base'. The guns were removed in 1911, and the south-east corner of the battery levelled to provide space for the training camp accommodation blocks. The base was active through both World Wars in providing basic training in seamanship, for boys from the age of 15 onwards. The training mast, erected to give experience aloft is visible on the aerial photographs. The training establishment was decommissioned in 1976. (S1 - S5).
HMS Ganges was the Royal Navy Training Establishment located at Shotley, Suffolk. The establishment was given its name from the training ship HMS Ganges (built 1821), which had previously been located at Mylor Dockyard near Falmouth, Cornwall from 1866 to 1899. This was the last sailing ship of the Navy to serve as a flagship, and was the second to bear the name. The ship was for a short time moored at Harwich before it moved to Shotley in 1903. It was later renamed HMS Tenedos III (1906), HMS Indus V (1910) and HMS Impregnable III (1922) before it was broken up in 1930. The onshore training establishment saw considerable development until it closed in 1976. An estimated 150,000 recruits passed through its gates between 1905 and 1976. In 1916, it was bombed by the German Zepplin airship. It was also a prominent training base during World War II. There was a Grade II listed ceremonial mast still extant on the site in 2007 (S6).

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <S1> Verbal communication: Roger JC Thomas. 2001. Roger JC Thomas. May 2002.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106G/LA/23 4021-2 06-JUL-1944.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. MAL 44/73 189-90 22-08-1973.
  • <S4> Serial: Fortress Study Group.. 1983. Fort: The International Journal of Fortification and Military Architecture. Volume 11.. The defences of Harwich: pp5-30..
  • <S5> Digital archive: HMS Ganges Association. HMS Ganges Association (Shotley) Web Site.
  • <S6> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Nov 7 2013 3:19PM

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