Sandown Barrack Battery is a battery located in Sandown Bay close to Sandown on the Isle of Wight in England. It is one of the many Palmerston Forts built on the island to protect it in response to a perceived French invasion.ContextThe 1859 Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom recommended improvements to coastal defences in response to a perceived greater threat of invasion due to the strengthening of the French Navy at that time. The fortifications, a total of 70 forts and batteries, were constructed around the English coast as a result of the commission's findings, representing the largest programme of coastal defence works since the time of Henry VIII. They form a distinctive group in terms of their design and armament. Their construction was very costly, causing the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gladstone, to threaten resignation. They were known by critics as 'Palmerston's follies'.ConstructionConstruction took place from 1861 to 1863, costing £6,233. The battery is located atop a 140ft high cliff on the coast just southwest of Sandown. There were concerns raised at an early stage that erosion at the base of the cliff could affect the stability of the parapet wall. The battery was built to a rectangular plan with no wall along the cliff edge, but moats containing Carnot walls to either side and the rear of the battery.