When you visit Bermuda, take the time to walk about and discover the landscapes and the sites that are part of the island’s history like the Whale Bay Battery, in Southampton.
It is a great way to understand how the island has become what it is now and to feel its pulse. There are many vestiges of historical as well as of architectural interests, some that can be found during walks and excursions on the shores or in the countryside of Bermuda.
The Whale Bay Battery can be found in the parish of Southampton, in the West Whale Bay Park, on the South Shore. It was part of the Whale Bay Fort, one of several forts built on the south coast of Bermuda during the middle of the 18th century before the American Revolutionary War. The Whale Bay Battery was in fact built a century later near the fort by two companies of the 15th Foot of the Bermuda Regiment to reinforce the guard at the entrance to a the Hogfish Cut.
This channel used by small boats was very valuable to local shipping as it allowed vessels to travel along the western coast toward the Royal Naval Dockyard. The Hogfish Cut could also have been used by the enemy to gain entry to the land and quickly access the Dockyard.
The Whale Bay Battery is the best kept part of the fort that used to be known as Fort Newbold after the name of its commanding officer, Captain William Newbold. This was a half-moon-shaped fort built on a perfect vantage point, overlooking West Whale Bay and the ocean battering the southern face of Bermuda.
The only remnants of the fort are the Whale Bay Battery walls, its barracks and the impressive underground magazine rooms. These are safely standing and can be easily explored, making for a few hours of fun and adventure for everyone, especially families. The Whale Bay Battery was equipped with 4.5 inch calibre guns with the capacity to shot up to 6 miles away at sea.
The fort and its battery were in use until the end of World War II and are more impressive than the military installation that can be found at Church Bay.
Nearby is the beach of West Whale Bay, a place named that way because it was from here that Bermudian whalers used to launch their boats. It is still possible to sometimes see humpback whales on route from the Caribbean to their feeding grounds for the summer. A good thing to do when in Whale Bay is to visit the Whale Bay Battery during high tide when the beach is inaccessible and to enjoy the ocean sunset from the beach.
The area has a grassy patch with picnic tables and restrooms and the bay is considered by locals as a prime location for shore fishing with potential catches of bonefish, grey snapper, pompano and great barracuda. The location of the beach at the bottom of a rocky cliff offers a great seclusion and the calm and shallow waters are ideal for children as well as snorkelling.
Whale Bay Battery, Southampton, in Bermuda
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Whale Bay Battery, Southampton– Part of Elbow Beach Cycles’ Things To Do in Bermuda series!