TN9 Hadleigh Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery

TN9 Hadleigh was one of several heavy anti-aircraft batteries in the area – such as TN7 Furtherwick and TN8 Northwick on Canvey (see here: http://beyondthepoint.co.uk/historic-locations/canvey-island/the-second-world-war/heavy-anti-aircraft-batteries-1940s/) and TN10 Vange. They would’ve been used for defence in the Second World War to shoot down enemy bombers, fighters, and even V1 Doodlebug Bombs. In case of invasion, which was imminent though narrowly avoided in 1940, they would’ve been used to defend the greens of England from landing German paratroops; the Fallschirmjager. The site in Hadleigh is notable for its range of guns that are now buried under the mounds around the site, but many of the associated camp buildings remain used to shelter bats and are situated in the field of the 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike Track which was extended into a public facility throughout the field as of 2014. As far as I am aware this has not had an impact on the structures.

Photographs from 2013/14:
2011 Visit & Report:

Just under three weeks ago, the BTP Team (me, BTP Liam and BTP Joe) set out across the Ray to find remains of a WW2 Army Camp and Heavy Anti Aircraft site in the Hadleigh Downs, hidden from modern life by nothing greater than some bushes! Many thanks to ‘Weeto’ from http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk for the information. After walking down a public footpath, off of Chapel Lane, which luckily had a temporal diversion to exactly were we wanted to be, we instantly saw around 5 concrete structures. The site was called TN9 Hadleigh in the Second World War and:

was a complex site of 5.25″ and 4.5″ gun emplacements, ancillary buildings and structures, and accommodation huts. All of the accommodation huts have been demolished and the appearance of the site has changed with the addition of a banked reservoir and heaped soil and grass over the gun positions. However, potentially much remains. On the surface there is the post-war Operations Room/Generator Block, rare in the county. The Gun Store is one of only two – the other is at TN10 Vange (SMR 14748). The On-Site Magazine is similarly one of only two – the other is at ZE7 Lippitts Hill (SMR 10374). Two of the 4.5″ emplacements and their command post may remain beneath the soil. But, of major importance as no emplacements of this gun calibre remain in Essex.

Here are the pictures:

We did get caught by a ranger/guard, who approached in his car, as we were exploring the cycle tracks for the Olympics 2012 which we did not realise we shouldn’t have been on at the time. We talked to him about our interests, and he said that, although he didn’t know their exact location, he did know that the illusive Roman Ruins were at the top of the hill before the HAA site. He also offered us a heritage tour of the downs (why we refused it I do not understand in 2015) and was a very reasonable man.

Photographs from 1998-2001 can be seen here at SEAX Archeology:

http://unlockingessex.essexcc.gov.uk/uep/custom_pages/monument_detail.asp?content_page_id=89&monument_id=41973&content_parents=48,61,80

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