Ongar Redoubt and Radio Station plus Allen-Williams Turret

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The radio station came under direct government control during World War II and this use, plus the site's proximity to the Southern Fighter Command base at North Weald airfield, may explain the presence of an unusual form of World War II gun emplacement, known as the `Allen-Williams' turret, situated on the south eastern terminal of the rampart above the eastern approach to the gorge.

Construction of the North Weald Redoubt began shortly after the land was purchased in 1889 and was largely completed by 1904. It was retained as a military base in the decade leading up to 1914, and it is then thought to have served as an arsenal for the duration of the Great War. In 1919 the site was sold at auction to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, who established a radio station on the surrounding hillside (the last original radio mast from this period was taken down in 1982) and used the redoubt for storage. The Imperial and International Communication Company took over the site in 1929 and continued operations under the new name of Cable and Wireless after 1934.


The radio station came under direct government control during World War II and this use, plus the site's proximity to the Southern Fighter Command base at North Weald airfield, may explain the presence of an unusual form of World War II gun emplacement, known as the `Allen-Williams' turret, situated on the south eastern terminal of the rampart above the eastern approach to the gorge.


It consists of a rotating steel dome, 1.5m in diameter, set over a concrete lined pit with an entrance passage to the west. The dome contains space for two men, one to rotate the upper section, the other to operate the armament (since removed) which could include the Bren or Lewis machine gun or the Boys anti-tank rifle. The machine guns could be mounted through the square aperture in the side of the turret or the circular opening above. It could thus be used against both ground and aerial attack

Photo showing earthwork of the redoubt on the skyline

Photo showing earthwork of the redoubt on the skyline

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