Author: Liam Heatherson

By Liam Heatherson

Canvey Concrete Barge

Ferro-Concrete barges were used to keep artificial ‘Mulberry Harbours’ afloat used by the allies in D-Day as checkpoints in the English Channel. One was thought to have drifted off of the broken Mulberry harbour that lies out in the Thames opposite Shoebury/Southend. Using our Time Tool below, you can see then and now photos of…

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By Liam Heatherson

Sutton Pillboxes

The area north-east of Sutton Road Cemetery and Temple Farm Industrial Estate in Southend is home to numerous pillboxes, and once there was probably even more. Whilst these pillboxes are too far east to be a part of the GHQ line of defence along England’s eastern coast, they were probably instead built to protect the…

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By Liam Heatherson

RAF Rivenhall

Opened in 1943, Rivenhall was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force. During the war it was used primarily as a combat airfield with various fighter and bomber units based there. In was closed following the end of the the war in 1946 although it was kept in reserve for a following…

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By Liam Heatherson

Grain Dummy Battery

Grain Dummy Battery, originally known as Grain Battery, was built shortly before Grain Fort, completed in 1865 to support two nearby forts; Grain Fort and Grain Wing Battery. Following the usual design for batteries, it consisted of several gun emplacements with magazines below. Unlike other forts, it’s likely that this one was out of service…

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By Liam Heatherson

The Moorings House

Photographs above are from HadleighHistory.org.uk in an article written by local author and Historian Robert Hallman The oldest house in Benfleet as it has been known was formerly a ‘poorhouse’, which we would interpret as a government-funded structure that would support those in poverty and provide them with housing. Whilst ‘poorhouses’ include the treacherous workhouses…

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By Liam Heatherson

Mundon Dead Forest & Church

The small woodland of Mundon Furze is the last surviving area of ancient woodland on the vast and desolate Dengie Peninsula. Nearby is a copse of ‘petrified’ trees appearing out of the marshland mist like a landscape from a horror film. Their past is completely mysterious. The dead oak trees are not actually petrified or…

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By Liam Heatherson

Prisoner of War Camp 116

Down an unmade lane in the quaint countryside Essex village of Hatfield Heath lies what at first appears to be a set of abandoned farm sheds. This hutment was in fact Prisoner of War Camp ‘High Hall’ 116, and once housed around 1,500 Italian, Austrian, and (from 1943) German soldiers captured in the European and…

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By Liam Heatherson

Hadleigh HAA Battery

TN9 Hadleigh at Sandpit Hill was one of several heavy anti-aircraft batteries in the area – such as TN7 Furtherwick and TN8 Northwick on Canvey, and also TN10 Vange. They would’ve been used for defence in the Second World War to shoot down enemy bombers and fighters during the Blitz. It also would have been a defence…

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By Liam Heatherson

Chapel of St. Peter-on-the-Wall

The Saxon chapel of St. Peter-on-the-Wall built in this extremely isolated marshland position on the Dengie peninsula nature reserve is the nineteenth oldest building surviving in England. It was built around 660-662 AD on the site of the third-century Roman ‘Saxon’ shore fort called Othona, used by the Romans for coastal defence against coastal or…

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