The Needles High Down Rocket Testing Site

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High Down was used for testing rocket engines from 1956 until 1971, including the Black Knight and Black Arrow rockets. The High Down Rocket Testing Site is located at the Needles on the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England. The facility has since been abandoned. The concrete for the buildings remain, but the remainder of the buildings has long gone. You can make out the buildings and footprints of them and even go inside the remaining parts. I visited in the summer of 2009, and it's a short walk from the Needles up some steep hills, but there are some nice views of the Needles and you can walk along the concrete paths and peek into the old structures.


The Black Arrow rocket was developed to launch satellites into orbit. The Black Knight was a research missile rocket at the height of Cold War tensions. It has since been decommissioned.




The above photograph shows where the rockets would have been stationed. The trench is the let-off for the steam and access, but they would have sat on the platform here. The building would have been several storeys high.


A side-view of the buildings is located below, and they would have been multiple storeys high with access to the top of the rockets. This has all been removed now.


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