The Atomic Weapons Establishment, Foulness, Essex: Cold War Research & Development Site. Survey report

Author(s): Wayne D Cocroft, Sarah Newsome

The former Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Foulness, is located on the north shore of the Thames Estuary, 9km (5½ miles) north-east of Southend-on-Sea, centred at TQ 98 91. It is amongst a handful of sites in England associated with the development of nuclear weapons and investigations into their effects. Internationally, such sites are rare, especially those associated with the pioneering stages of this technology. The site’s history spans the full duration of the Cold War and research was undertaken within the establishment on all Britain’s service nuclear weapons. A notable feature of the range is the building specially constructed for the assembly of Britain’s first atomic device that was successfully detonated at Monte Bello, Australia in October 1952. This report describes the evolution of the local landscape up to 1945 and the physical development of the establishment. It also places its structures within the historical context of the development of Britain’s Cold War nuclear weapons programmes. Shoeburyness range is an active military test area and there is no public access.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Landscape Park Modern Survey


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