TG4810 : HAA gun battery

taken 3 years ago, near to West End, Norfolk, Great Britain

HAA gun battery
HAA gun battery
The structure depicted here forms part of one of the four gun batteries on this site. It is the entrance to the shelter, constructed on the edge of each of the four emplacements. For a wider view of this location see > LinkExternal link.
Mautby HAA gun battery
A heavy anti-aircraft (HAA) gun battery was located here during WW2. The site was known as YH4 and formed part of a group of HAA batteries constructed for the defence of Great Yarmouth. Four HAA guns were located in square concrete emplacements, arranged around a command post. The domestic site associated with this battery consisted of a number of huts, the platforms of which are still in place. The buildings have long since been demolished.

The following information was taken from the Norfolk Heritage Explorer website:

September 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Extant remains of a World War Two heavy anti aircraft battery are visible on contemporary and later aerial photographs. The site was one of a group of heavy anti aircraft (HAA) batteries positioned to protect Great Yarmouth. The type of guns that this site was equipped with and the exact date that it was established are not known. The earliest documentary references to this battery appear to date to 15 January 1946. However, it is possible that it was operational by 1942 and the earliest available aerial photographs date to September 1945.
The site occupies a roughly rectangular plot within which three distinct areas can be identified. It is located to the east of Decoy Farm at Mautby on the edge of the higher ground just to the north of the River Bure marshland. The gun emplacements and command post are located at the eastern end of the site. The four gun emplacements are located in an arc around the command post. Each gun emplacement comprises a 13m square enclosure with concrete walls surrounded by a protective earth bank. One corner of each emplacement is open to allow access. Internally, a rectangular store or magazine is located on each wall of the emplacement. A further rectangular structure is located adjacent to the entrance of each emplacement on the outside of the wall. A 5m square area in the centre of each emplacement provided the mounting for the gun. The command post building is low, roughly rectangular building with a flat concrete roof. Access to two open areas, for the predictor and height finder equipment, is located on the eastern side of the building. The command post was located in the middle of a teardrop shaped access road that served each of the gun emplacements on its eastern side. Three buildings of unknown function were located at the western end of this loop of road. An area of disturbed soil was present to the east of the site. It is possible that this was the remains of a weapons pit or a similar gun emplacement for the ground defence of the site.

The domestic buildings associated with the gun battery were located at the western end of the site. A total of 24 buildings were present to the north and south of the access road. The majority of these were pitched roofed buildings on concrete bases. There was also a curved profile building, probably a Nissen hut with a 24 foot span. A water tower was located on the western side of the domestic site. A third group of buildings was present between the domestic site and the gun emplacements. A circular concrete structure with an 11m diameter and a cross-shaped structure in its centre was located on the south site of this group. This was connected on its northwest side to an 8m by 7m rectangular pit by a gully. These features were positioned at the foot of the slope adjacent to a drainage ditch and are likely to be the settling tank and filter bed of a sewage plant associated with the battery.

In July 1946 all of the buildings at the site were still standing and the presence of vehicles indicates that the site was still in use. By March 1955 the buildings associated with the sewage plant and most of the buildings at the domestic site had been demolished revealing their concrete bases. All of the buildings at the domestic site were subsequently demolished, but the gun emplacements and command post remain extant. The surviving remains at the site are surrounded by trees and are not visible on aerial photographs dating to after 1981.

Previous descriptions of this site refer to a possible airstrip visible on the 1946 aerial photographs. Although a rectangular strip of different length grass is present along the northern side of the site in 1946, this was not present in September 1945 and is unlikely to be an airstrip. The earthwork bank to the east of the site also referred to in an earlier description of the site appears on the 1945 and 1946 aerial photographs to be a bank associated with the drainage ditch along the site boundary. It does not seem to have any significant relationship with the battery itself. The Mautby HAA battery was located 1.7km to the west of HAA Battery YH1 at West Caister.
J. Albone (NMP), 21 September 2005

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Grid Square
TG4810, 47 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Sunday, 31 August, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 31 August, 2014
Geographical Context
Defence, Military 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 4883 1093 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:38.3404N 1:40.5778E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 4881 1092
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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