View Full Version : Ongar radio / North Weald redoubt

31-10-2009, 02:52 AM
Hi again.

I made a return visit to the fort/radio station today, to investigate more of the old fort side of things. (I don't have post auth for the military thread, so it's in the new members bit).

OS calibration marker on top of the magazine

Fallen radio mast still in place on the top of the artillery magazine from its later use as part of Marconi. Cable guys are still attached.

An entrance on the North side of the magazine

Which leads all the way through to the inside

Room at the far end of the tunnel, can't make out the writing, but it looks like store on the end

Inside of the battery. The large garage like openings are the casements for storing the guns. There are large metal hinges mounted for doors, but no doors were ever installed.

Electrics look a bit iffy... As the battery and gorge casements are below ground they do get flooded, especially the gorge casements as I understand the existing drain is unmaintained and blocked.

Inside the magazine. Most of these shots were done blind with the flash, I forgot my torch, and it's pitch black in there!

Looking back down into the magazine.

The back of the gorge casements, yet another set of stairs...

On the edge of the gorge casements

In the gorge

I have no idea what this was for, it was hiding in a dark corner. It looks like a variable voltage control, antique light dimmer?!
It's hard to guess as the gorge casements were used for many things in their life, ammunition storage, barracks and then various storage for the radio station.

Tough doors... Notice the covered firing hole at the top.

Benches or beds?

More rust power

A rusty can full of who knows what... It looked black and nasty!

Various storage

How much of this is from vandals, and how much from the flooding redistributing anything that floats is anyone's guess.

The insulators Broughton Boy was asking about

Just for Broughton Boy.

Remains of a door in the gorge... Surreal placement!

Bridge to the left, gorge infront.

The bridge which leads onto the roof of the gorge casements, and from there allows access to the magazines behind.

Gate hinge (down the bottom of the large gate post).

Have a look at the third picture down on http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/n/north_weald_ongar_radio/index.shtml Spot the difference?

The table is part of some props a photographic student was in the process of packing up into the back of her friends car.

31-10-2009, 11:09 AM
looks a very interesting place, great pics:thumb

01-11-2009, 04:40 AM
Thanks guys/girls.

It is rather hidden away. I only found out about it recently, and I've lived within 20 miles for most of my life!

It's pretty good for a beginner explorer like me. It's all single storey, so no climbing dodgy stairs and falling through, and no security.
Basically as long as you have a torch (like this genius didn't), you can't go far wrong!
Plus the only people that seem to come up there are dog walkers, and they didn't seem at all phased by me climbing out through the fence (maybe having a big camera slung round my neck gave me a little more of an official air).

I believe the entire site was sold to a developer over 10 years ago, and since then a large chunk of the radio antenna fields has been turned into a golf course (yawn, like half the rest of the country). The old Victorian fortifications are listed as special interest, so the developer can't really do much with it, plus of course they really know how to build military structures, it would cost a fortune to even try to remove.
The old caretakers cottages may fall down eventually, but I don't think the casements will be going anywhere for a very long time indeed!

01-11-2009, 09:39 AM
This is good mate, I like it a lot.
Additional marks for going back. So often people say they will revist, and never do. Good job :thumb

03-11-2009, 01:03 AM
Yup, I actually found the turret the first visit, I thought I'd posted a pic, but it looks like I forgot. I'm actually standing right next to it for the picture I took of the stairs going into the back of the gorge casement.
There is supposed to be another on the other side, but I think that will require a machete to find!

05-11-2009, 11:23 PM
Some good stuff there. I like the look of the cottages in the last pic :thumb

06-11-2009, 02:35 PM
Ahhh thought they would have been some sort of electrical insulator.

Great report :thumb