Report - - Maker anti-aircraft battery and barracks, Cornwall, July 2018 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Maker anti-aircraft battery and barracks, Cornwall, July 2018


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1. The History
Maker Heights heavy is anti-aircraft battery just over the border in Cornwall, overlooking Plymouth Sound. By the time war was declared in September 1939, there were 12 heavy anti-aircraft battery defending Plymouth, most on the Cornish side of the Tamar.

The Heavy Anti-Aircraft battery was built in the late 1930’s. There were four 3.7-inch gun emplacements laid out in a horse-shoe arrangement, each surrounded by an earthwork. Behind there was a rectangular command post building. Later on, on either side of this building, two more gun emplacements were added (most likely in the 1940s during the war), making a total complement of six guns. Due east were huts that provided living accommodation for the 80 or so soldiers who manned the battery, making use of an eighteenth century redoubt.

The site had previously been used for military purposes well before then. The outbreak of the War and American Independence in 1775 and the strategic importance of Maker Heights saw the construction of a line of redoubts built to protect Devonport Dockyard in 1782. Shortly afterwards, Maker Barracks were built to accommodate the redoubt’s garrisons between1804-1808. The two-storey block was altered in the mid-19th century when the formerly tile-hung first floor was rebuilt in brick. It is the most complete small garrison barracks from this significant period. The area was further fortified in the late nineteenth century with the addition of Maker, Grenville, Hawkins, and Raleigh Batteries.

Ariel view of Maker Anti-aircraft battery with barracks to the east:

maker_heights_aab_2 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The barracks were partially repaired and in use as a community art centre. It is a Grade II listed structure.

2. The Explore
As is the way with exploring, the places that I was aiming for (Grenville and Maker batteries) were locked up tight so this was a fall back. It was an easy explore – the battery is on pretty open access as it is situated on a camp site. It made for a nice half-an-hour wander in the summer sun with sweeping views.

3. The Pictures
Looking back over the inaccessible Maker batteries:

img8345 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8343 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the Grenville Battery:

img8342 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the Maker Anti-aircraft batteries:

img8346 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8347 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8349 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Gun fixing points:

img8350 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8351 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8354 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8355 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the command post building:

img8357 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Direction/range finder mark8. Apparently, the cut-out in the concrete is where the cables would have gone:

img8358 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And on to the barracks. All locked-up/in use here so just externals:

img8359 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8360 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8362 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8363 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8365 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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