Atherfield Lifeboat Station was opened in 1890 following the wreak of the 'Sirenia' in 1888 on Atherfield Ledge.
With the English Channel reaching to the base of the cliffs, and no track-way down to the beach, the lifeboat had to be housed at the top of the cliffs. It was housed in a corrugated boathouse and was launched down a steep (1 in 3) 250ft long ramp into the sea. It was recovered using a winch mounted at the boathouse to haul the lifeboat up the ramp.
The station was closed in 1916.