Description: The new Godley Head battery was the largest defence work undertaken in the South Island since the building of Fort Jervois, some 54 years earlier. The design was a direct copy of those used at the Motutapu and Palmer Head batteries. The new Godley Head battery's primary purpose was counter bombardment with a secondary one of supporting the examination battery at Battery Point. Counter bombardment is the use of long range gunnery to counter enemy vessels attempting to bombard a coast.
A significant aspect of modern long-range gunnery was that as the shells neared their target, they plunged down at a nearly vertical angle. Previous Victorian and Edwardian battery design did not have to contend with this type of fire. Extensive overhead cover was provided for the guns, magazines, fire control and command areas. The guns, the fire control and command systems were regarded as the height of coastal defence establishments.