Beacon Hill Fort, Harwich

Back

Coastal artillery fort built to defend the strategic deep water harbour at Harwich on the river Stour.

Originally built in the 19th century, it saw use in World War One, and was re-adapted in World War II, retaining the same basic plan. A new emplacement was built to the south and fitted with twin 6 pounder (2.7 kg) guns, used for fast moving targets such as torpedo boats. Search lights were added to the 1860 battery on the front, and a pill box built on the extreme south west corner of the fort on Dovercourt Bay. The fort contains six main gun emplacements, battery observation post, two pill boxes, shelters, accommodation for officers, guard hut, store, workshops, fire engine shed, magazines, electricians store and shop, engine room and electric light platforms. The works continue along the coast northwards, comprising a massive bank into which pill boxes and a two storey hexagonal radar tower have been constructed, all with commanding views of the Orwell estuary opposite Landguard fort. Many of the 20th century buildings survive and retain important military information on the architecture of gun installations, ammunition storage, communications, observation and radar posts. Most of Beacon Hill fort is not accessible to the public. However, the radar tower is managed by the Harwich Society, with information panels compiled by the Society, and is open to the public (£1 admission) on the first Sunday of each month in the summer. . Open to groups by prior arrangement (01255 503429) at any time

Aerial photo of Harwich showing Beacon Hill Fort (bottom right hand of photo)

Aerial photo of Harwich showing Beacon Hill Fort (bottom right hand of photo)

Reconstruction painting showing Beacon Hill Fort as it would have looked in World War Two

Reconstruction painting showing Beacon Hill Fort as it would have looked in World War Two

Radar tower at Beacon Hill Fort

Radar tower at Beacon Hill Fort

Minefield contro tower at Beacon Hill Fort

Minefield contro tower at Beacon Hill Fort

Turn on JavaScript to display the map

Show slideshow