Monument record SLY 082 - World War II barrage balloon mooring site

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A World War II barrage balloon mooring site in Shotley parish.


Grid reference Centred TM 24708 33640 (77m by 84m)
Map sheet TM23SW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

A World War II barrage balloon site is visible as a range of structures, centred on TM24703364. The site is located circa 90m west of Martello Tower 'L', very close to the southernmost point of Shotley peninsular, and just to the north of Shotley pier and admiralty pier. It is composed of concentric rings of concrete tethering blocks and a central mooring point. There are three structures in the immediate area, two of which appear to be connected to the mooring point by linear features, which may be earthworks or structures housing mooring mechanisims. The largest of these structures is over 12m long and 4m wide, and may be a balloon storage shed. The other structures may have acted as command posts or housed a winching mechanism. A barbed wire obstruction is located to the south-west of the balloon site, and forms a defensive barrier on the south and western sides of the site. It runs for 120m from TM24733359 to TM24683366. A second barbed wire obstruction runs for 43m to the north of the site, from TM24703368 to TM24733365. This site is part of a wider coastal defensive system that covered much of the Suffolk coastline during Word War II. Barrage balloon sites were largely mobile, and could be moved from location to location on the back of RAF lorries. However, this site appears to be more established, and is one of three permanent barrage balloon sites that appear to be intended for the defence of Shotley naval base (see 19606 and 19626). There are visible traces of the moorings until 1951, but they are no longer visible by 1955 when the site appears to have begun its current use as a caravan park. (S1-S4)
Site of Second World War barrage balloon mooring at HMS Ganges, Shotley (S5).

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106GLA/23 4021-2 06-JUL-1944.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 58/633 5072-3 18-APR-1951.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 58/RAF/1672 03-MAR-1955.
  • <S4> Monograph: Lowry B (Ed.). 1996. 20th Century Defences in Britain: An Introductory Guide. 2001.
  • <S5> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Nov 7 2013 3:08PM

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