Ancient Monuments

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Gravel Bay anti-aircraft battery

A Scheduled Monument in Angle, Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

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Latitude: 51.6657 / 51°39'56"N

Longitude: -5.0636 / 5°3'48"W

OS Eastings: 188235

OS Northings: 200774

OS Grid: SM882007

Mapcode National: GBR G5.J496

Mapcode Global: VH1S4.5DYD

Entry Name: Gravel Bay anti-aircraft battery

Scheduled Date: 19 May 2005

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1094

Cadw Legacy ID: PE494

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Battery

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

Community: Angle

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire


The monument comprises the remains of a WWII heavy anti-aircraft gun battery, situated in enclosed coastal pasture overlooking Freshwater West beach and Gravel Bay to the S. The layout of the Gravel Bay heavy anti-aircraft gun battery followed the standard pattern of the time. The command post lies in the centre of a clover-shaped arrangement of four octagonal gunpits each containing a holdfast (the gun mounting platform) surrounded by reinforced ammunition lockers and a blast wall. All four gunpits also contain two opposing shelters, one for gun maintenance (the limber gunner's shelter) and one for the gun detachment (the tearoom). The command post comprises a rectangular sunken brick and concrete built building, containing roofed plotting, telephone and rest rooms and an open enclosure containing the identification (or spotter's) telescope, the range finder and a predictor (a mechanical computer), the instruments used to accurately locate approaching enemy aircraft. It is likely that the SW-facing orientation of the entrance of the easternmost gunpit was deliberately situated in order to enable the gun to be depressed both for firing out to sea and to act as a beach defence gun. Two smaller gun holdfasts are visible, situated on the S and N sides of the emplacement respectively and probably representing the remains of light anti-aircraft defences.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance and illustrate our knowledge of WWII anti-aircraft defences. The well preserved monument forms an important element within the wider regional context - the defence of the Bristol Channel ports - and the structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to building techniques and functional detail.

The area to be scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is irregular and measures 90m from NW to SE by up to 80m transversely.

Source: Cadw

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