In the late 1770s, when the Virgin Islands were still under Danish rule, Lt. Peter Lotharius Oxholm scouted out several locations on Hassel Island that would be key points for defensive fortifications. His suggestions for strategic positions included the North and South peaks of the island along with a site on the southeast coast where Prince Frederik’s Battery was constructed.
In 1801, the British began their occupation of the Danish West Indies during the French Revolutionary War. Lt. General Thomas Trigge ordered forces to fortify Hassel Island for the occupation. Lt. Col. Charles Shipley planned the new defensive constructions necessary for the occupation. Utilizing the same locations that Oxholm named twenty years earlier, the British erected Shipley’s Battery on the northern peak of Hassel Island.