Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Queen Alexandra Dock Harbour Defence Gun Emplacement

A Scheduled Monument in Butetown, Cardiff (Caerdydd)

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Latitude: 51.452 / 51°27'7"N

Longitude: -3.1564 / 3°9'23"W

OS Eastings: 319742

OS Northings: 173195

OS Grid: ST197731

Mapcode National: GBR KPY.6F

Mapcode Global: VH6FF.7RPR

Entry Name: Queen Alexandra Dock Harbour Defence Gun Emplacement

Scheduled Date: 13 March 2009

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1314

Cadw Legacy ID: GM618

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Gun House

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Cardiff (Caerdydd)

Community: Butetown

Built-Up Area: Cardiff

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of an emergency coastal defence battery gun emplacement, dating to the early period of the Second World War (AD 1940-41). The defensive artillery battery was constructed at short notice to defend the strategically important port of Cardiff. It is located at the south end of Queen Alexandra Dock and surmounts the sea wall overlooking Cardiff Flats to the south-east, enabling its gun to be brought to bear on enemy shipping and amphibious craft in the Bristol Channel. The gun house was built to standard War Office specifications from reinforced concrete and red brick and was designed to mount one 6-inch gun with accommodation for an ammunition magazine to the rear. It was originally one of a number of structures defending the harbour. The gun house is rectangular in shape on plan and partly buried into the ground. It measures 2m in height externally, 13m in length north-east by south-west and 6.85m in width. The roof comprises a massive reinforced concrete slab that measures 0.5m in thickness. The walls measure 0.45m in thickness. A pair of opposed and protected entrances located on the north-east and south-west end walls provide access into the magazine corridor on the north-west side and then on to the open-faced gun deck on the south-east side.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of Second World War anti-invasion practices and the defence of port installations. The monument is well preserved. It is an important relic of actions taken against the perceived threat of a German invasion from Ireland. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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