WW2 Costal AA site.


Lavernock Gun Battery at Lavernock Point, South Wales

I found an aerial photo of a WW2 anti-aircraft gunsite near where we are staying so decided to see if I could find it. Below  is a overview of the site it shows the site as a typical 4  3.7mm gun layout 2 full gun emplacements remain with there small ammunition stores around the circular gun mount, the blast doors and the amo store doors are now gone. This arrangment of the guns was known as a clover leaf patern. The large rectangular building to the left of the picture  is the large magazine it is partly buried into the ground and protected by blast walls. (It is somewhat closer to the guns here than on other sites I have seen) A circular  slab concrete road joins each part of the site entering at the bottom of the picture. Only fragments of  the last 2 gunsites remain they would have been in the bottom right and almost a mirror of the remaining  2 emplacements. Too the top centre of the picture is the control/command centre sunken into the ground with and open centre behind blast walls where the range finder would have been positioned.

from air


Road to  the site

Walking across a nature reserve the footpath soon joined a concrete road typical of WW2 miltary contruction and I was hopful it would lead to the battery. It did.

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x1 gun bunker from above


Magazine block


Control Command Centre.



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concrete  roadway

Futher past the AA site is a war time search light bunker, . This supported a earlier gun battery pointing out to sea which has  now been lost under a caravan park.


This types of site of fairly recent history are still being lost this AA site is one of the best I have seen in a long time. l hope this site is not lost in the future.

Do not fall in


ogmore2.jpgOn the river below Ogmore Castle are some historic stepping stone crossing the river. A popular fording place for horse riders but those on foot can cross the river here safely (well fairly safely).

Ogmore Castle are the remains of a Norman stone-built castle, raised by the de Londres family. The initial earthwork castle was established by William de Londres, soon after 1100.


ready for action


Up the other end of Porthcawl away from the holiday makers is the more interesting part of this Welsh seaside town. Purpose built in 1995 and near the harbour is Porthcawl lifeboat House. The station operates an inshore B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat and a D class inshore boat. At the end of Porthcawl breakwater stands a small lighthouse which was built in 1860. The lighthouse is currently in use as a navigational aid for the harbour.

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porth cawl light

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RNLI boat house and coastguard lookout tower.

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The Lydney canal is a short one-mile canal  it runs inland from the River Severn from Lydney harbour. It was opened in 1813 to move iron and coal from the Forest of Dean . Wood was still being brought into the canal as late as the 1960s and it continued with some commercial use until the 1980s. The entrance to the canal consists of an outer tidal gate opening into a wide basin. From there a lock opens into the one-mile canal. Immediately above the lock, a pair of gates protect against a high tidal flood in the estuary. Today the canal appears to be a mooring for many small pleasure boats many of which look, as they would not survive in the waters of the Severn. Further inland the boats giveway to nature.

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Death on the River



The Severn Railway Bridge was built to transport coal from the Forest of Dean on the Severn and Wye Railway. It was expected that the amount of coal freighted would increase year by year and the building of the bridge would remove the necessity for the coal to be shipped via Gloucester. Work began in 1875 and was completed in 1879. The wrought iron rail bridge, was 1,270 m long and 21 m above high water, it had twenty-two spans between local limestone pillars. A total of 6,800 tons of iron being used in its construction.


A number of accidents took place at the bridge over the years, with vessels colliding with the piers due to the hazardous nature of the waterway of the River Severn. On 25 October 1960 two tanker barges collided in heavy fog near to Sharpness. They got caught by the tide, lost control, and smashed into one of the bridge’s pillars. The bridge partially collapsed. One tanker carrying a cargo of oil ignited and burnt for several hours and the other which was carrying petrol, caught fire and exploded. In total 5 of the 8 crew died. 

Repair work was under consideration when another collision occurred the following year, after which it was decided that it would be uneconomical to repair the bridge. It was demolished between 1967 and 1970, very few traces remaining today. In 2010 a plaque was placed at Lydney Harbour  within sight of where the bridge stood. The wrecks of the Arkendal H and the Wastdale H can be seen in the river a low tide.