UK Sites

The UK has had a long and varied military history, leading to a multitude of installations around the UK.

Atlantic Sea Wall, Hankley Common

The Atlantic Sea Wall was built in 1943 during the Second World War by Canadian troops as a replica of the German anti-tank defences on the northern coast of France.  It was constructed of concrete, steel rods and wire.  Prior … Continue reading

Campsie Anti-Air Observation Room (AAOR) Northern Ireland

Post World War Two some 30 Anti-Air Observation Rooms were built – large above ground hardened concrete constructions, each one to control a specific Gun Defence Area (GDA). More than 30 were planned but weren’t all built (or no evidence … Continue reading

Dorking Deepdene Railway Control Centre

During World War 2, the Southern Railway group took over the Deepdene Hotel, near Dorking, as their War Headquarters. On their take over, it was discovered that the grounds to the rear of the buildings contained a series of caves. … Continue reading

Drakelow Tunnels, Staffordshire

The War Years Drakelow Tunnels is an underground complex with tunnels stretching to around 285,000 sq. ft. It was built during World War Two as a protected shadow factory for the manufacture of Hercules, Mercury and Pegasus aero-engines by Rover. … Continue reading

Farleigh Down Sidings, Wiltshire

During the 1930’s the government of the United Kingdom recognised the need for secure ammunition storage throughout the country.  Their proposal was to construct central ammunition depots at strategic locations throughout the country, one in Cumbria and Shropshire and a final site was selected … Continue reading

Gilkicker Fort, Portsmouth

Fort Gilkicker was built in 1871 as part of the coastal defence around Portsmouth Harbour, the fort had 22 heavy guns on a semi-circular wall and was built specifically to stop the French landing on the point. The fort was … Continue reading

Llanberis Bomb Store, Wales

During 1939 the Air Ministry was looking to build a large bomb store capable of storing a large amount of ordnance. In Llanberis the Glynrhonwy Isaf slate quarry was sitting disused, upon inspection it was deemed suitable for the Air … Continue reading

Longcross Barracks, Chertsey, Surrey

Not much is known about the reason for Longcross Barracks, it can only be assumed that it was there to protect the MOD defence research establishment close by and was not used for a fighting unit.  It was constructed in … Continue reading

North and South Front Casemates, Dover

The fortification of the Western Heights in Dover Begun in the 18th Century, when the Spanish and French Armada sailed off our coast.  A simple earthworks was constructed to compliment the fortification at Dover Castle. In response to Napoleons planned invasion in … Continue reading

Paulsgrove Secure Radio Station, Portsmouth

Whilst building the Underground Headquarters (UGHQ) under Fort Southwick nearby (operation Overlord command centre), the Army built into the face of the Paulsgrove chalk pit a secure radio station. This was to provide the communications for the UGHQ. It was … Continue reading

Portsdown Main, Portsmouth

Portsdown Main is an enormous art deco styled building on the north Portsmouth skyline and is known locally as Portsdown Main or ASWE. The site was designed in the 1930sbut was not built until the 1950’s because of WW2. It … Continue reading

Portsdown Oil Fuel Depot, Portsmouth

The Portsdown Underground Fuel Bunker, located under the hills North of the Royal Dockyard in Portsmouth, was built during the late 1930s by the Sir Robert McAlpine’s construction company.  They bunkers were designed to provide a bombproof Royal Navy fuel oil … Continue reading

RAF Stenigot ACE HIGH relay station, Lincolnshire

RAF Stenigot is a former World War Two Chain Home radar station situated in Lincolnshire to give warning of the approach of the Luftwaffe to Nottingham, Sheffield and the central midlands. It was retained as a radar station after WW2 … Continue reading

RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire

Towards the end of World War 1, RAF Upper Heyford was established by the Royal Flying Corps. During World War 2 it served a number of units, and was predominantly involved in the training of bomber crews in the 16th … Continue reading

RAF Upwood, Cambridgeshire

Towards the end of World War 1, in 1917, the Royal Flying Corps requisitioned 160 acres  of farmland near the village of Upwood, Cambridgshire. In September of that year the station opened as Bury (Ramsey). Initially the No. 75 Squadron, flying … Continue reading

RAF Uxbridge Battle of Britain Fighter Command Bunker

RAF Uxbridge was an RAF station in the London Borough of Hilingdon, and was active from 1917 to 2010 when it was closed as part of the MOD plans to reduce defence sites in London in favour of a core … Continue reading

RAF West Raynham, Norfolk

Prior to World War II, an extensive review of the air defence capabilities of the UK was undertaken by the government. This led to a major expansion of the Royal Air Force after the 1934 and resulted in the opening of many new airfields over the remainder of … Continue reading

Reigate Mobilisation Centre, Reigate

Thirteen Mobilisation Centres were built between 1889 and 1903 as part of the London Defence Scheme. These were not planned as forts although some of them would have been armed on mobilisation. Their main function was as a store for … Continue reading

Reserve Home Forces Headquarters, Wentworth

The Wentworth estate, which is infamous for its world class golf course, was commandeered at the outbreak of world war two and became a military encampment just outside of Virginia Water in Surrey.  The bunker was constructed as a back-up … Continue reading

The Grand Shaft, Dover

The Grand Shaft was built to provide a shortcut for the soldiers garrisoned in the forts and barracks situated at Western Heights; it was constructed at a time when there was a great fear of invasion from the Napoleonic forces … Continue reading

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Modified: 28th Aug 2012