North Weald Redoubt, Essex
In the late Victorian period (1889-1903) mobilisation centres were constructed around the London area in order to provide ready ammunition in order to defend the city. These centres were not designed as forts themselves, although they could have been armed if the need arose. Being a mobilisation centre, if the need for armament did become apparent, the North Weald Redoubt would have been armed with whatever guns were seen as appropriate at the time.
North Weald Redoubt is one of these mobilisation centres and its structure clearly shows its purpose as an ammo store. Viewed from above, the redoubt forms a rough D shape. The arc at the rear of the redoubt is comprised of magazines. The second building consists of a caponier giving covering fire into the ditch and further casemates known as the gorge casemates that could have been used to either barrack troops or as further storage space for shells. Under normal conditions, this would have been utilised for the storage of other equipment.
Within the magazine arc, each room is clearly defined as either a cartridge or shell store and has excellent lighting provided by multiple lamp recesses in each store. As in other similar magazines, the cartridge stores were accessed via a shift lobby.
The redoubt underwent many changes during its use, and during the Second World War, it was fitted with two Allen Williams turrets. These would have been used to protect the nearby Ongar radio station.
Location: North Weald, Essex
Condition: Very Poor
Date Of Visit: 15/10/06