Heavy Anti Aircraft Gun Site TN7 Furtherwick, Canvey Island

Back North of Long Road, Canvey Island

The monument includes a World War II Heavy Anti-aircraft gunsite located 170m south west of the junction of Cedar Road and West Crescent and documented in wartime records as `TN7 (Thames North) Furtherwick'.

The monument includes a World War II Heavy Anti-aircraft gunsite located 170m south west of the junction of Cedar Road and West Crescent and documented in wartime records as `TN7 (Thames North) Furtherwick'. The monument lies within a triangular parcel of land known locally as `The Gunney' or `The Gunnery'.
At the peak of operation there were six guns stationed at TN7, each mounted within shoulder high concrete enclosures, four of which were octagonal in plan and two square. The octagonal emplacements (each 15m in diameter), which survive beneath modern earthen mounds and skateboard ramps are arranged in an arc with the apex at the east facing towards the direction of incoming German aircraft.
Each emplacement contains a series of ammunition recesses (built into the internal faces of the surrounding walls) and is flanked by an integral bomb-proof shelter for the gun crew. An on-site magazine bunker lies buried within the mound between the two southernmost emplacements, and the command post structure lies beneath a separate mound in the centre of the arc.
The two square emplacements have been demolished although the foundations of one (measuring some 13m across) can still be traced immediately to the north east of the octagonal emplacement array. A concrete platform of lattice design, measuring some 15 sq m, lies between these foundations and the northern octagonal emplacement. This is thought to have served as the base for an ancillary building or equipment related to the battery and is included in the scheduling. The second square emplacement, formerly located to the north west of the arc, has been destroyed by house construction and is not included in the scheduling. The scheduling does not include the accommodation area for the gun crews (a series of lightweight barracks formerly located to the south of the gunsite) as these structures have also been demolished to make way for modern housing development.
War Office documents relating to the equipment and manning of gunsite TN7 indicate that the battery was operational in 1940, and in 1942 was equipped with four 4.5inch (115 mm)  AA guns and a GL Mk II fire-control radar. By 1943 it was manned by 184 Regiment, a mixed battery which included women of the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service). Evidently supported with two extra guns at one stage, the battery appears to have remained in use throughout the duration of the war, and was last mentioned in 1946.
The modern features associated with the children's play area, including the football goalposts and the tarmac skateboard ramps overlying the mounds, are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these items is included.

Old aerial photo of battery

Old aerial photo of battery

More modern aerial photo showing site surrounded by recent development

More modern aerial photo showing site surrounded by recent development

Earth mounds over gun emplacements

Earth mounds over gun emplacements

Surviving structure

Surviving structure

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