High Down was an important test site in the 50s and 60s: all the 22 Black Knight rockets that were fired and both stages of the 4 Black Arrow vehicles were brought here for test firing before being dispatched to Woomera.
The Isle of Wight, where Saunders Roe were based. Their offices were at Osborne, on the northeast of the island, and the factory was in East Cowes, Cowes being at the top of the island.
One of the most scenic places imaginable to test rockets: the High Down site on the Isle of Wight! On the left you see the Needles lighthouse, then Scratchell's Bay to the right of it. Further to the right you can see a swathe of grass sweeping down to the cliff on the far right. Here there is a concrete walkway with 2 static testing sites.
The photograph above was taken far left centre of the chart: you can see the lighthouse and the 3 chalk columns on the chart. Scratchells' Bay is marked, and the test site is where the words "Sun Corner" are written.
This is an aerial view of the site when it was operational.
And here is a vehicle being set up in the gantry for testing. The gantries and all other buildings have now gone, leaving only the concrete left.
The site was also used for Black Arrow - seen here in one of the gantries. The Needles Rocks and lighthouse can be seen on the left.
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