TN13, or Bowaters Farm Anti-Aircraft Battery, was built at the outbreak of the Second World War. Whilst many HAA sites have been demolished, we were given permission by the farm owner to have an explore around these 70 year-old remains.
Built in 1939, the defence was armed with four 3.7-inch guns and later upgraded to four 4.5-inch electronically-controlled naval guns. The site is formed of eight gun emplacements, vehicle parks, a magazine and a command post; all of which are connected via a road. Inside the gun emplacements, the gun mount is surrounded by ammunition lockers, making it easy to reload the guns. The 4.5-inch emplacements are somewhat of a rarity, with another scarce example buried at Hadleigh in Essex. Their emplacements were much bigger and deeper and operated on several levels for the electronic control of the bigger guns. Despite their heavier calibre, the guns were generally less favoured for AA defence probably because they were not designed for AA fire like the 3.7inch guns, which remained the standard for HAA into the early Cold War.
The site in the 1940s – showing camp and both gun batteries
Today the site still remains complete although heavily overgrown, making it hard to navigate around. Although complete, the site is now very overgrown with a small section used as horse stables. It’s thought that the paint inside is original.
Stables & 3.7inch Emplacement