Apostle Battery

Cape Town, Western Cape

The Apostle Battery is located on the lower slopes of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range above the rocky coastline between Llundudno Beach and Oudekraal Beach. The Apostle Battery was one of three Batteries located along the Cape Peninsula during World War II. A total of nine 9.2” guns were located at Robben Island, Simons’ Town and Hout Bay and were connected via a telemetry network associated with the surrounding topography.  Their principle aim was to track enemy ships moving around the Cape and to prevent enemy attack to protect Cape Town as a strategic base for the Allies. Three of the original 9.2” guns remain at the Apostle Battery.

The site falls within the Table Mountain National Park and is currently utilized by school groups as part of eco-adventure camping initiative. The site is largely unknown to residents of Cape Town and is under-utilized in terms of its tourism potential. The guns at the site have fallen into disrepair and are no longer well maintained.  SANPARKS intends to re-envision potential uses for the site in order to ensure that it can be developed in a sustainable way, taking its sensitive heritage context into consideration.

Although the site is located in a visually sensitive heritage area, it is not clearly visible in the landscape, as the intention was for the gun emplacements to be well camouflaged during the War. Fast-growing invasive Eucalyptus species were planted to rapidly screen the site from view. These trees have not spread into the surrounding indigenous vegetation, yet they do form an important component of the historic context of the site.

We prepared visual and ecological mapping to illustrate important landscape opportunities and constraints that should be incorporated into the development proposal. The landscape character of the site was analysed and spatialized and prominent historic visual axes and viewpoints towards the site were identified. Opportunities and constraints for context sensitive development were identified and mapping was prepared to influence the proposed design intervention. The intention is for the mapping to inform historically and contextually appropriate development proposals, thereby ensuring that the heritage sensitivity of the site is preserved and enhanced.