Located in the north east of St. David’s Island in Bermuda lies St. David’s Battery, a strategic military battery built for the defence of Bermuda.
Also known as Great Head Battery because it is part of the larger Great Head National Park, its position as one of the highest and most eastern points in Bermuda meant it was an ideal lookout place as well as live gun and cannon station to defend the island against enemy and invasion.
It is now a national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a memorial for Bermudians and their countrymen during the wars and also for those lost at sea. It is open to the public as a tourist attraction and as well as it’s interesting military history, it offers some of the most breathtaking views anywhere in Bermuda.
And, it’s not just the views that make it such a worthwhile place to visit on the tourist trail. Getting to the top of the cliffs where it is located involves a splendid nature walk where birds and other wildlife can be seen among the excellent flowers and shrubs dotted around. And, if the scenery of getting there and the magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean aren’t impressive enough, fans of history or armaments will marvel at the four guns in situ at the Battery.
Originally built in 1990 to defend Bermuda from enemies coming from the east, the Battery grew from a small lookout and early-warning station to a robust fort with the specific task to defend the entrance to the Narrows Channel which leads in to St. George’s Harbour. Although decommissioned in 1957, two 9.2 inch calibre guns and two 6 inch calibre guns still remain for tourists to see. The 9.2 inch gun is said to have a very impressive range of 7 miles and probably needed to be so formidable in order to defend Bermuda, as they were Bermuda’s only long-distance ballistic defence at the time.
The guns are the largest that have ever been mounted in Bermuda and were manned 24 hours a day during World War II. Astonishingly though, the guns were never fired against any enemy and were little fired even in practice – local residents weren’t too happy about the ear-piercing noise from the cannons and campaigned against their use so much that even practice drills were few and far between.
As well as stunning views that include St. George’s and Castle harbours, you can see the towns of St. George’s and St. David’s and the Battery is ideally placed to see the grand red and white construction that is St. David’s Lighthouse.
Adjacent to the St. David’s Battery is the Great Head National Park. This is a scenic area partly overlooking the ocean. The park is a popular venue for picnics.
There are trails across the park that go for miles and are lovely for walks. However, due to the hilly and uneven terrain, you need to be a little careful.
St, David’s Battery, Bermuda
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St, David’s Battery in Bermuda – Part of Elbow Beach Cycles’ Things To Do in Bermuda series!