Record Details

NHER Number:32529
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two heavy anti-aircraft battery at Eaton

Summary

A World War Two heavy anti aircraft battery is recorded by documentary evidence and is visible as a complex of earthworks, structures and buildings on aerial photographs. The battery had been established by 1942, on an area of land previously occupied by anti-landing obstacles (a continuation of those visible to the north and east, NHER 53254). Documentary records indicate that at this time it was equipped with 3.7 inch mobile guns and a GL Mark II radar, and that it was manned by 270 Battery of the 106th Royal Artillery Regiment. A second set of gun emplacements, visible on aerial photographs and constructed after April 1942, would appear to indicate a subsequent equipment upgrade, or at least a reconfiguration of the site and its guns. By September 1945 the guns and radar equipment had been removed, and the site appears to have been largely disused. Various remnants remained visible on aerial photographs for some years after the war, but the site has since been built over and most or all elements presumably levelled or destroyed.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2074 0585
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

World War Two anti-aircraft artillery given this grid reference (S1).
Is this accurate?
D. Gurney (NLA) 28 January 1997.

June 1946.
RAF aerial photograph shows one of four square banked enclosures each containing small circular pads. Probable gun battery, look too small for searchlights but could be. To the southwest is polygonal outline with central mark - probable radio beacon, with various structures and trenches.
Cross reference NHER 19371 and 24026.
See (S2).
B. Cushion (NLA) 11 February 1999.

Originally recorded in the parish of Eaton, now part of Norwich.

December 2009. Norfolk NMP.
The World War Two heavy anti aircraft battery described above is visible as a complex of earthworks, structures and buildings on aerial photographs (S3)-(S13), at TG 2077 0583. It is also recorded by documentary evidence: (S1) and NMR TG 20 NW 534. The battery had been established by 1942, on an area of land previously occupied by anti-landing obstacles (a continuation of those visible to the north and east, NHER 53254); for the sake of clarity, the latter have not been mapped within the main field occupied by the battery. Documentary records (S1) indicate that in 1942 the battery was equipped with 3.7 inch mobile guns and a GL Mark II radar, and that it was manned by 270 Battery of the 106th Royal Artillery Regiment.
The aerial photographs of the battery cover the period from April 1942 up to and beyond the end of the war. The NMP mapping of the site is relatively schematic, with only major features being depicted and individual features not mapped in any great detail. In 1942 (S3) a group of (four?) emplacements, and presumably a command post, is visible at TG 2079 0580 (mapped using ‘Extent of Area’); these were presumably for the 3.7 inch mobile guns with which the battery was then equipped (NMR TG 20 NW 534). Some of the gun-laying radar equipment appears to be in place (centred at TG 2071 0579), along with a row of structures, the purpose of which is unclear, visible between TG 2068 0588 and TG 2078 0589. Various huts and buildings are evident, located principally along the southern boundary of the site (not mapped). A group of probable tents is visible at TG 2082 0574.
By 1944 (S5) a major change had taken place at the site, with four new gun emplacements, arranged around a central command post, now clearly visible at TG 2082 0590 (these may have been under construction or already built in 1943 (S4)). Two rows of tents are also visible (at TG 2089 0580), overlying some of the anti-landing obstacles still extant as earthworks in the eastern part of the site (NHER 53254). The eastern boundary of the site, which no longer followed existing field boundaries, appears to have been defined by a fence or similar structure. An additional, isolated emplacement is visible at TG 2064 0583; it was perhaps the site of a light anti aircraft gun, as it bears a passing resemblance to those mapped at Great Yarmouth (for example NHER 42521).
Low-level 1945 vertical aerial photographs (S6)-(S7) show the site in the greatest amount of detail, and it is from these photographs that the majority of features have been mapped. The extent of the huts and other structures along the southern boundary of the site is shown by ‘Extent of Area’ (between TG 2066 0570 and TG 2083 0572). A U-shaped earthwork bank mapped at TG 2078 0576 might equate with one of the earlier, 1942 gun emplacements, but the earthwork seems relatively fresh and could be a later feature. A ditch or track linking small concrete pads or similar, visible between TG 2089 0573 and TG 2086 0569, is of uncertain function, but could indicate a fence, or some sort of drainage- or water supply-related installation. A similar concrete pad or block visible to the south of Marston Lane (at TG 2087 0566), beyond the limits of the main site, could be a related feature. Along the western edge of the site (between TG 2059 0580 and TG 2060 0578) a group of three mounds and/or (previously?) earth-covered structures may be air raid shelters; the purpose of the ditches and bank visible nearby is unclear. An additional shelter, or alternatively some kind of store, may be represented by a rectangular trench or pit visible at TG 2072 0562, outside the main area of the site, to the west of Church Lane.
Subsequent aerial photographs of the site, including (S8)-(S13), indicate the survival of various remnants into the 1960s. However, by this time the area was already being encroached upon by the housing which now almost entirely covers the site. It is likely that any remains relating to the battery have been levelled or destroyed.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 30 December 2009.

Monument Types

  • AIR RAID SHELTER? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY COMMAND POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT GUN POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN LAYING RADAR PLATFORM (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUNPOST? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • HEAVY ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • LIGHT ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY CAMP (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • NISSEN HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • RADAR BEACON (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD? to 1945 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England: Anti-Aircraft Artillery. Site Gazetteer. WWII HAA & ZAA.. Vol I.3. p 426.
<S2>Aerial Photograph: RAF. June 1946. [unknown]. TG20/ TG2005/ B.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF HLA/447 (FS) 34-6 30-APR-1942 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Luftwaffe. 1943. Luftwaffe GX10341 SG148 (F207/43v) 15-MAY-1943.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC258 5008-9 28-MAR-1944 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/772 6031-3 06-SEP-1945 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/975 6088-90 07-NOV-1945 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 6069-70 27-JUN-1946 (NHER TG 2105A, TG 2005B).
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. NMR TG 2005/3 (RAF 30005 CPE/UK/2328 PFFO-0314) 27-SEP-1947.
<S10>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. NMR TG 2006/2 (RAF 30005 CPE/UK/2328 SFFO-0314) 27-SEP-1947.
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 58/725 (Vp2) 5007-9 21-JUN-1951 (NMR).
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1956. RAF 540/1778 (F21) 0065-6 16-JAN-1956 (NMR).
<S13>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1962. RAF 543/1883 (F22) 117 27-SEP-1962 (NHER TG 2005C).

Related records - none

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