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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1412523

Hob Uid: 1412523
Location :
Epping Forest
Waltham Abbey
Grid Ref : TL3858402399
Summary : Site of Second World War anti aircraft gun emplacement, Monkhams Hall, Waltham Abbey. Possibly originated as a First World War anti aircraft battery.The site stands in open fields on top of a high hill. This postion is ideal for such an emplacement, having wide views in every direction. It has been suggested that it could date back to the First World War however evidence suggests it is more likely to be a Second World War emplacement.The emplacement consists of an hexagonal base (brick foundation with concrete platform) into which is set a gun holdfast with two brick and concrete integral shelters at its western end, in between which is concrete acces ramp. The whole structure is a maximumof 11.20m long by 7.70m wide. Only the westernmost shelter survives. It's internal dimensions are 3.5m by 2.8m. The entrance is on the north east side. Internally there is a single aperture in the south western face.The fabric of the emplacement shows at least two phases of construction. The eairlier phase, possibly First World War, is represented by the brick foundation walls and brick shelter. A second phase of construction, possibly Second World War, saw the addition of a concrete roof to the shelter and associated 'patching up' of the brickwork.Close by and in the same field are other Second World War structures.
More information : The emplacement was presumably part of the anti-aircraft defenses for the Royal Gunpowder Mills to the west. Research into the origins of the emplacement suggest it could date back to the First World War. First World War records dated 28th June 1915 show two 6 pounder Q.F. Hotchkiss guns included in the anti-aircraft defences of the Royal Gunpowder Factory at Waltham Abbey. The following month, on 21st February 1915, the same details are repeated.

It is apparent that if this is a First World War emplacement it was reused during the Second World War.

An aerial photograph taken in June 1947 confirms that there were originally two shelters on the structure, one on each side of hte access ramp.

The concrete used for the new roof is virtually identical to the concrete used for the platform and access ramp and it seems likely that they are all contemporary; this would mean that the steel gun ring is also Second World War. The ring is inscribed with the possible transcription 'Sir WM. A & Co. Ltd 1859'. The ring measures 1.8m diameter externally and 1.36m internally and would have functioned as a base plate for the gun.

Nearby other Second World War structures include the brick foundation walls for a barrack block and two subterranean concrete chambers, possibly the cesspit for the original ablutions hut.

Contemporary records make it clear that there was a Hotchkiss gun emplacement at Monkhams Hall during the First World War. However, there is no surviving evidence at Monkhams today which can be positively identified with this emplacement. Further research is being done to try and identify the gun which would have been mounted on the surviving holdfast. If the gun can be proved to be a type current in the First World War, such as a 3 inch 20 cwt, then a First World War date for the emplacement (with Second World War modifications) could still be possible.

At present there are too many uncertainties regarding the history of the monument to warrant scheduled status.(1)


Waltham Abbey


Monkhams Hall

Recorder- A. Beanse. (1)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source :
Source details : Sue Tyler, 07-OCT-2002
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Source Number : 2
Source :
Source details : The two databases developed by the Project can be searched on-line through the Archaeology Data Service at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/index.cfm
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : World War I
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1914
Monument Type : Anti Aircraft Gun Emplacement
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : World War II
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Anti Aircraft Gun Emplacement
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Non Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1851
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Essex)
External Cross Reference Number : 10083
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 30 SE 179
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities :
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-01