Second World War anti-aircraft battery at Bowaters Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012185

Date first listed: 31-Jul-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Second World War anti-aircraft battery at Bowaters Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012185 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2018 at 17:54:42.

Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Thurrock (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: TQ 67867 77075

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Anti-aircraft batteries are small clusters of artillery dedicated to firing at aerial targets. They were constructed from the First World War to the 1950s, after which time missile batteries took over from artillery as fixed weaponry while anti-aircraft artillery became increasingly mobile. They were constructed in large numbers in the immediate pre and early Second World War periods in response to the threat of air attack. Many took the form of simple sandbagged emplacements which left no substantial remains when they were abandoned. Others took the form of concrete emplacements arranged around a command post, while the latest types of battery were fully automatic and included radar-guidance equipment. Artillery of 3.7 inch and 4.5 inch and later 5.25 inch calibre was the usual armament of these batteries. Anti-aircraft batteries were widely distributed around England, with a marked concentration in the South East around London. As a result of development pressure in the South East few have survived. The example at Bowaters Farm is the last surviving example of such batteries in this area of Essex. It forms the latest part of a series of important defensive installations at Coalhouse Point which illustrate the development of coastal defences from the Tudor period to the mid-20th century.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes eight concrete gun emplacements with their connecting roads and vehicle parks, magazine and command post. The battery forms two groups of anti-aircraft artillery. The earlier group comprises four octagonal emplacements of concrete covered by asphalt, which measure some 16m across. Two entrances are located on opposite sides of the emplacements and earthen banks protect their outer sides. Inside the emplacements, the ten bolts which fixed the guns to the ground survive, as do the ammunition lockers against the walls. Between the middle two emplacements is a rectangular magazine building some 12m long with five compartments for shells with different fuses. At the rear of the group is a larger building which formed a command post and which included height and range-finding equipment, although this no longer survives. This group housed 4.5 inch guns from mid-1940 to 1944. To the east is a second group of four emplacements, these examples comprising a deep circular pit lined with concrete, again measuring some 16m across, with an adjoining sunken engine room to the west or south-west. A gun turret, which no longer survives, capped the circular pit, and housed a 5.25 inch gun. This group superseded the 4.5 inch guns in 1944 and continued in use until after the war.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12709

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Smith, VT C, 'Coalhouse Fort Project' in Coalhouse Fort and the Artillery Defences at East Tilbury, (1985)

End of official listing