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Lizard Lane Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery

A Scheduled Monument in Whitburn and Marsden, South Tyneside

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Latitude: 54.9661 / 54°57'57"N

Longitude: -1.3762 / 1°22'34"W

OS Eastings: 440032.178103

OS Northings: 563672.495322

OS Grid: NZ400636

Mapcode National: GBR LCT0.VL

Mapcode Global: WHD4Z.TFTS

Entry Name: Lizard Lane Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery

Scheduled Date: 9 February 2015

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1419998

County: South Tyneside

Electoral Ward/Division: Whitburn and Marsden

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Whitburn

Church of England Diocese: Durham


Occupying a level site within view of the North Sea. Lizard Lane Farm Battery includes the buried, earthwork and standing remains of a multi-phase Second World War heavy anti-aircraft gun battery and radar site, as well as a Cold War heavy anti-aircraft gun and radar site.

Source: Historic England


PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: occupying a level site within view of the North Sea. Lizard Lane Farm Battery includes the buried, earthwork and standing remains of a multi-phase Second World War heavy anti-aircraft gun battery and radar site, as well as a Cold War heavy anti-aircraft gun and radar site.

COMMAND POSTS: the operational core of the site was the command post. The Second World War command post is situated near the centre of the site (NZ40064 63676) and is visible as a roughly square earthwork about 25m across, which contains a single storey, semi-sunken structure with a flat reinforced concrete roof; it has been infilled and encased in soil, though the outline of the walls are visible; a semi-circular projection to the centre of the east wall is interpreted as a platform to house a spotting telescope. The building has a small rectangular shelter attached to the rear.

The Cold War command post is situated c. 85m to the west of the earlier control room. This is a single-storey, rectangular reinforced concrete structure with a flat roof measuring about 12m by 8m; to the rear there is a small rectangular double chambered outshut. The south end contains an original entrance (partially blocked) reached by a set of concrete steps; the iron door frame remains but the door is missing. The doorway is flanked by a pair of small metal grilles and there is a single window opening in the east side, fitted with a six-pane crittal window and retaining its original iron shutters. There is a later inserted entrance to the north end reached by a shallow concrete ramp. Cable ducting emerges from the north and south sides of the structure and runs into the ground. The ceiling of the interior retains metal fixings for a form of ceiling lining, now removed. A hollow, walled rectangular feature lies immediately to the east and is considered to be the possible housing for an oil tank, and an adjacent rectangular hard standing is interpreted as a platform for a generator.

GUN EMPLACEMENTS: forming a shallow arc around the eastern side of the Second World War command post are four gun emplacements. Each emplacement is visible as a roughly circular earthwork about 20m across and up to 2m high, which contains an infilled, hexagonal gun emplacement for a 4.5 inch gun; the tops of the emplacement walls are visible, as are the projecting rectangular concrete metadyne generators for each emplacement. Situated immediately to the rear of the second and third gun emplacements is a substantial rectangular earthwork platform standing to a maximum height of 1m. This earthwork feature contains a square gun emplacement added to the site in c. 1943 for a 3.7 inch MK. IIC gun. The remains of a second gun emplacement of identical form is visible on aerial photographs to the rear of the first and second gun emplacement and its foundations are considered to survive below ground level as buried features. The remains of concrete loop roads linking the command post and the gun emplacements are partially visible and partially survive below ground level as buried features. Low concrete features immediately to the north east of the emplacements are the remains of the site sewerage system.

MAGAZINES: set to the north and south of the gun emplacements there is a magazine used to store reserve ammunition. These conform to a type of magazine known as the ‘1938 pattern’ and comprise a rectangular single storey concrete building about 16m by 8m divided into five bays forming storage bins, each with a roof vent. The line of bins is lit by two windows and entry is through double doors at each end and in the centre bay. The whole structure is protected by a 10ft (3.05m) blast wall. The remains of iron hinges, door fittings, electric light switches and light fittings are retained.

GUN STORE: a rectangular, flat-roofed building in which instruments and spare parts were housed is situated at the north east corner of the site. The north facing long wall has a pair of crittal windows, which retain their metal shutters, flanked by narrower similar windows with shutters removed and now blocked. The west side facing onto the road has a double entrance with replaced double doors. The small projection to the north east corner formed a paint store. Internally, the angle-irons for its former steel tables are visible within the concrete floor.

STANDBY POWER HOUSE: this is situated towards the northern side of the site. It is visible as a flat-roofed rectangular concrete building with multiple rectangular ventilators set high in the walls and retaining metal hooks around the tops of all walls interpreted as camouflage fixings. There is an entrance in the west side fitted with replacement timber doors and there are three blocked openings low down in the in the north side for three generators, each with a small, square blocked opening above. Internally, the original electrical supply remains complete with switches and light fittings and there are original metal frames to the upper ventilation holes, many with sliding metal shutters in place.

RADAR SITE: to the south and west of the Cold War control room lies the radar site. A Second World War period GL Mk.II radar receiver plinth comprising a low brick-built square platform about 6m across, with a concrete surface, upon which a mobile radar caravan was tethered down. The plinth is accessed by a brick-built ramp with a concrete surface at the eastern side c. 8m in length. To the north west of this radar plinth and immediately to the rear of the Cold War command post there are a pair of identical concrete Cold War period structures; the un-roofed and hollow-walled emplacements are radar caravan sheds with a personal entrance and a larger vehicular entrance; the interior retains cable slots. The adjacent buildings are thought to be tractor sheds to house the vehicles that pulled the mobile radar caravan into position.

EXTENT OF MONUMENT: the full extent of the Second World War and Cold War Heavy Anti-Aircraft batteries, including their buried and earthwork remains. There are two separate areas of protection: the first and largest is defined to enclose most of the surviving features. The remains of the former domestic camp lie outside of the monument to the north and are considered too fragmentary to be included. The second area of protection lies immediately to the north east of the first and encloses the former gun store.

EXCLUSIONS: the modern farm building constructed against the more southerly magazine and the wooden mangers affixed to the Powerhouse are excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

This multi-phase Second World War heavy anti-aircraft gun battery and radar site, and Cold War heavy anti-aircraft gun site and radar site is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Rarity: it is one of only a handful of complete or near complete Second World War gun batteries that was adapted for continued service during the Cold War;
* Survival: generally good survival of all component parts in a variety of forms including buried features, associated earthworks and standing remains, the latter retaining evidence of their original fittings. The survival of the radar ramp is particularly unusual;
* Potential: the remains will enhance our detailed understanding of the construction, function and use of this military site type in Britain as well as serving as a tangible symbol of the threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction;
* Historic interest: it is an important and evocative witness to national defence policy both during the Second World War and the Cold War;
* Group value: the site is a multi-phase but legible ensemble, in which the functioning of the various parts is strongly sensed and where the military experience is readily captured;
* Period: a multi-phase gun site that is strongly representative of those constructed during the Second World War, and whose continued use during the Cold War illustrates the physical manifestation of the global division between capitalism and communism that shaped the history of the late C20.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Brown, I, C20 Defences in Britain: An Introductory Guide, (1996), 48-59
Whitburn, Lizard Farm HAA Battery, Tyne South, accessed from
C S Dobinson, C20 Fortifications in England: Anti-aircraft artillery, 1914-46,
Oblique Aerial Photograph RAF 540/1381 F21 0213
07 August 1954. English Heritage 1403288.,

Source: Historic England

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