The Needles is an iconic landmark of chalk stacks in a line stretching out to sea. The stunning coastal scenery and historical sites are blended with a chairlift and family attractions and rides in the amusement park. The amazing panoramic views from the cliff tops are a perfect setting for your holiday snaps.
Sitting high above the Needles is the Old Battery, a fortification for gunners, with a birds-eye view of the Solent. Higher still is the new battery, and both were commissioned in the Victorian era by Prime Minister Palmerston. Together with many such installations around the south coast, they became known as ‘Palmerston’s Follies’, as by the time they were completed, the threat from the French Navy had diminished. However, they would later be used during both World Wars.
Now maintained by the National Trust, the Needles Old Battery is a visitor attraction that gives the most splendid views of the Needles.
A World First
It was from the needles that the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi broadcast his pioneering radio transmissions. And, In June 1898, the Second Lord Tennyson and the great scientist Lord Kelvin visited. Kelvin insisted on paying a shilling to send the following message to Glasgow University “Tell Blyth this is transmitted commercially through the ether from Alum Bay to Bournemouth and by postal telegraph thence to Glasgow.” Therefore, this is regarded as the first commercial radio transmission.
A monument marks the spot of the first radio transmission by Marconi.