Needles Isle of Wight
Needles on the Isle of Wight is an impressive limestone geological formation located in the western part of the Isle of Wight, England. Three rocks pointed at the top lined up in a row towards the lighthouse of the mid-nineteenth century.
The name “Needles” was inspired by a fourth needle-shaped rock called “Lot’s Wife”, which collapsed in 1764 during a heavy storm. Despite the fact that the stones have no resemblance to the characteristic needle shape, on which they were named, the name stuck and is relevant to this day. The lighthouse was built by the British lighthouse management bureau and was commissioned in 1859. He remained in operation until 1994. Further on the island, among the beautiful rocks, a monument to Guglielmo Marconi towers directly from the sea in honor of his radio experiments of 1897/1900, as a result of which radio programs were created.
The pointed needle shape is the result of their unusual geology. The layers were so strongly pressed during the Alpine orogenesis that the chalk was formed almost vertically. This chalky cliff passes through the center of the island from Culver Cliff in the east to Eagle in the west, and then continues along the bottom of the sea to Pourbeck Island, forming the Ballard Cliff. On the cliffs of Old Harri, these seam lines are moving from horizontal to almost vertical, where they can be seen from the sea.
The needles were the location of the artillery battery from the 1860s to 1954, which was eventually decommissioned. The nearby site in High Down was used to test missiles for the British ICBM program, as well as to test Black Knight and Black Arrow rocket engines from 1956 to 71. During the peak of activity in the early 1960s, about 240 people worked in the complex. These rockets were later used to launch the Prospero X-3 satellite. The territory is now owned by the National Trust and is open to the public. Concrete structures remain, but the buildings were demolished, or collapsed under the influence of the elements. In 1982, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, officially opened the restored Needles Factory. Underground test rooms for missiles are currently being restored for the exhibition. The first stage of restoration was completed in 2004. Needles of the Isle of Wight may well complement the selection of the wonders of geology on LifeGlobe.