Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,946 pages of information and 233,606 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
WWI The towers were constructed of concrete and steel for the Admiralty M-N Scheme during the later part of the war; they were intended to be used to close the Strait of Dover to U-boats, though they were too late to be of service. At the date of the Armistice there were fourteen "towers" under construction. Since the Armistice a sum of about a million pounds was spent, partly for the purpose of completing the two which had reached an advanced stage at Shoreham, but principally on the demolition of the other twelve.
1921 The Shoreham Harbour Trustees had tried but failed to have the huge concrete towers removed from Shoreham harbour. A strong protest was made that the Admiralty had not either removed the towers, which were a hindrance to navigation, or paid any sum by way of compensation or rent for the use of the harbour.
1922 One of the completed towers was installed in place of the old Nab Lightship (and also used for certain undefined experimental purposes). The second completed tower, which was still at Shoreham Harbour, was to be demolished.
The concept was applied to anti-aircraft defence (the "Maunsell" forts) in the Thames estuary and elsewhere during the second world war.