Tyne and Wear HER(1796): Fellgate, Red Barns Farm, Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery Tyne D - Details
Fellgate, Red Barns Farm, Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery Tyne D
Anti Aircraft Defence Site
Anti Aircraft Battery
WW2 Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery, designated Tyne D. This example belongs to the pre-War re-armament of 1938, spurred on by the Munich crisis and built according to a programme laid out by the Inskip Plan of November 1937, which provided for 64 guns along the coast from Tyne to Tees. At the time of general mobilisation on August 24th 1939, the Tyne had only 9 guns operational, 4 of which were at Red Barns. Pre-War installations were better built than those constructed during the War years. Unusally Red Barns was not chosen for re-furbishment in the Cold War (nearby Lizard Farm was preferred) and so it represents exceptional survival of the original design. One of the few HAA batteries where the weaponry was upgraded from 3.7" to 5.25" naval guns. The site was at its largest in 1944, when it was operated by 608 Battery, 183rd AA Regiment. At that time the battery had four 3.7" guns, two 40mm Bofors guns and a searchlight. The four guns were arranged in an arc facing south-east and were served by a number of ancilliary buildings to the south, including the command post, two magasines, gun store, NAAFI canteen, MT workshop and garage and shower block. A No. 3 Mark V radar was added in 1945.It was retained as an Off-Site Nucleus Force Battery in 1946. The battery officer's bungalows were rebuilt in the 1950s and are still occupied. Following decommissioning at the end of the war, the site was handed over to the Ministry of Health. The command post, gun emplacements and magazines were demolished in April 2002 and the site was levelled. Prior to demolition the gun battery buildings were full of stores and farm waste which obscured most of the detail. An excavation in 2014 by ASUD was carried out in advance of redevelopment to record the command post and one gun pit in more detail.
<< HER 1796 >> A. Rudd, 1989, Existing Sites of Pillboxes in Tyne and Wear C. Dobinson, 2001, Archaeologia Aeliana, Command English Heritage/Methuen book Council British Archaeology, 1996, 20th Century Defences in Britain Practical Handbooks in Archaeology, 12 Archaeological Serives University of Durham, 2001, Environmental Statement - Extension of Red Barns Quarry Technical Paper 7, Archaeology Archaeological Serives University of Durham, 2002, Red Barns Farm, HAA battery, Wardley, Photographic survey of surviving structures Pers. Comm. Alan Rudd, Fortress Studies Group Pers. Comm. Roger Thomas, English Heritage, 2002; English Heritage Hadrian's Wall WHS Mapping Project, 2008, 1403237; Aerial Photograph RAF CPE/UK/2352 3189 04-OCT-1947; South Tyneside Local List Review 2011, LSHA/145/B; Archaeological Services Durham University, 2015, Red Barns Farm HAA Battery, Wardley - Archaeological Excavation; Archaeological Services Durham University, 2019, Red Barms Farm HAA Battery, Wardley, archaeological monitoring and recording.