No2 Battery forms one of the so-called "Palmerston's Follies" which consist of a series of massive forts and batteries built around Portsmouth Harbour in the 1860s as protection against a threatened French invasion.
No2 Battery is a Grade II Listed Building and it is the best preserved of the original five Batteries in the Stokes Bay Lines. More details may be found at:
Gosport - The Palmerston Forts of Gosport
Palmerston Forts Society
No 2 Battery Timeline
1857: Proposal for building "Stokes Bay Lines"
1859: Start of construction
1860: No2 Battery completed
1891: The two sea facing emplacements built higher up
1860 - 1902: Various guns installed/replaced
1902: All guns replaced by 19 Maxim machine guns
1907: All guns removed
1932: Gosport Borough Council (GBC) purchased the Battery
1939: GBC moved all records from Town Hall into the Battery
WW2: Requisitioned by the military. Used as a barrage balloon centre and for plane spotting. Provided a defence for the Canadian Forces who left Stokes Bay on D-Day for the "Juno" beaches of Normandy.
1947: Used by Special Armament Development Establishment (SADE). Testing of tanks and amphibious vehicles
1950: Used by 7th Royal Tank Regiment Amphibious Wing
1951: Released back to GBC
1956: Moat surrounding Battery filled in
1982: Transformed into GBC Nuclear Bunker (Civil Defence Command Post). New passage cut through between casemates
1990: Decommissioned as Nuclear Bunker
1994: Summer exhibition Centre; Entrance door and stairs installed
2010: The Historical Diving Society granted a lease by GBC to open a Diving Museum.
Gosport Borough Council have enthusiastically seized upon their historic claim to diving fame through the residency of John Deane in the town for some eleven years (1835 to 1845) during which time he discovered the Mary Rose and (with his brother Charles) launched the diving industry. The No2 Battery lends itself perfectly to a diving museum and Gosport provides a natural choice of location.