View Full Version : Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery Bristol B2, Portbury - March 10

14-03-2010, 09:09 PM
From 700 miles to 700 yards.. a slightly more laid back explore this afternoon. Over lunch with the parents and relatives my brother in law mentions to me about some old WW2 buildings not more than half a mile away from my home.


Sure enough lunch decends into kicking off the kids off the pc and getting google earth on the go. Yep we have something here. I could walk to it from my house, but given amount of roast dinner residing in my stomach we opt to drive :lol:

After a bit of digging on the internet the English Heritage Pastcape website comes up trumps:

The remains of the Second World War Portbury (Sheepway) anti aircraft battery and military camp. Four octagonal emplacements, support structures and extant buildings, were mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1946 and 1947. The construction of four reinforced concrete gun emplacements (a half battery), located adjacent to Atherton House, north of Sheepway village and east of Portishead dock, (centred at ST 4869 7660) was began in 1938. The battery was manned by No. 237 Battery, 76th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Sited in a semi-circular arc, with the convex plane facing westwards to Portishead dock, each of the four gun emplacements is an open, octagonal enclosure about 13 metres in diameter with shoulder high external walls. Inside each emplacement are ammunition alcoves for shells stored on wooden racks. Each gun emplacement has an engine room building and a crew shelter outside. Guns at the site may have been varied, including 3.7 inch and 4.5 inch guns as well as 40mm Bofors guns and GL Mark II radar. To the rear of the four gun emplacements is the battery's command post, which would have contained the range finder/predictor. Also nearby are two magazines. The military camp adjacent to the heavy anti aircraft battery is accessed from Wharf Lane and consists of rectangular military buildings of varying size, some with pitched roofs and some Nissen huts. First hand accounts by ex-servicemen describe the camp as being well-appointed, with a Naafi, interconnecting sleeping huts with mattressed beds and indoor ablutions with hot water and flushing toilets. Aerial photographs taken in 1989 show that the camp and battery has been decommissioned and the whole site in a disused state: all of the camp buildings have been demolished, although some of their concrete bases are still visible. However, the gun emplacements, command post and magazine of the anti aircraft battery are still visible but much overgrown with vegetation.


Mrs Tumbles is on site security today. No she doesn't have a SIA badge :lol:









14-03-2010, 09:22 PM
Nice I really like this. Looks like you could spend hours there just wandering

14-03-2010, 10:43 PM
Cool stuff, I like this. What is that tower thing?

14-03-2010, 10:49 PM
Ah - good spot. I was thinking it was an awful lot taller than that. Of course it isn't.

15-03-2010, 08:44 AM
Very nice Tumbles, just the kind of thing I love.

15-03-2010, 10:25 AM
Looks like a good mooch & in good condition considering it's age-just overgrown!
Mrs Tumbles should set a trend for security guards to all wear pink jackets! :laugh

16-03-2010, 01:18 AM
Still a fair bit to see and pretty well preserved, nice explore :smclap

16-03-2010, 01:11 PM
Nice way to spend a few hours after a sunday roast.

mex - do you know of any cold war HAA sites?
There's one at Stallingborough on the south bank of the Humber I believe.

16-03-2010, 08:45 PM
Yeah, there's a very intact WW2 HAA post at Winteringham (Scunthorpe H8) which is on the south bank too. Plotting room is flooded, but other than that it's in nice nick. Got some pictures somewhere - I'll get them up sometime.

16-03-2010, 09:52 PM
nice find there mate any idea what the numbers are on the blocks for