East Carlton anti-aircraft battery, Yorkshire, February 2019

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Jan 6, 2013
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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Loads of history on this place due to it being Grade II listed. The World War II Heavy Anti-aircraft (HAA) gunsite was known as Station H21 and included seven gun emplacements; one for a Light Anti-aircraft (LAA) weapon, four gun pits and a command post. It’s date of establishment is unknown but was unarmed in June 1942. During the second world war guns were often moved from one site to another this does not necessarily mean it had been totally abandoned. The site was probably connected with the defence of Leeds generally and Yeadon airfield in particular, the latter of which lies just under 2km to the south.

The Anti-aircraft (AA) guns were used for either destroying enemy aircraft or keeping them at a high altitude. Another important function of AA guns was to indicate the position of enemy aircraft to their own fighters. Often, when an enemy plane was out of range, the guns would fire one or two rounds to burst as near as possible, simply to draw the fighters’ attention to the enemy. The emplacements were all constructed of concrete and breeze blocks and follow standard designs. The four gun pits were arranged in a semi-circle around the north-west side of the command post. The gun pits were octagonal in plan and had twin axial entrances which had a single entrance and external ammunition recesses and shelters. Both types were designed for 3.7-inch guns. The surrounding walls formed three, roofed, compartments on each side of which the central one led to a shelter at the rear. On one side the shelter was typically used as a relaxed duty shelter for the gun crew, the other for gun maintenance. The other recesses were used for stacking ammunition and fuses of different, preset lengths.

The command post is E shaped in plan, semi-sunken and constructed of breeze block and concrete. It included a plotting room, a long room in the covered part of the command post where the bearing, elevation and range were calculated and relayed to the guns. Other rooms in the command post acted as offices, stores and communication rooms. All the buildings and structures, with the exception of the unenclosed gun emplacements, are surrounded by earth and turf embankments. These would not only have reinforced the structures but would also help to camouflage the site from air attack.

Google Maps view:

46220976275_4f3b0bde34_b.jpg2019-02-18_02-26-33 by HughieDW, on Flickr

2. The Explore
Very open access and easy explore this one. The four gun pits were nothing to get too excited about and have clearly been used for livestock. The most interesting thing is the company post, however, this is completely flooded so had to content myself from peering in from the outside in. Nether-the-less, an interesting site and well worth half-an-hour of your time

3. The Pictures

First the four gun pits:

47065671782_801579abd0_b.jpgimg0938 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40164380343_a19edf2d9d_b.jpgEast Carlton 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

46394406254_63fc0ce7cb_b.jpgimg0911 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32176068437_0612c36563_b.jpgimg0907bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

32176120147_35abc3b540_b.jpgimg0897 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47065904442_2980867a55_b.jpgimg0895 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Not too much left here:

47065853802_0ca47bb9d8_b.jpgimg0902 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Then on to the command centre:

47065719572_063af485ec_b.jpgimg0935 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32187281227_4aabe599d6_b.jpgEast Carlton 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

33242576278_081edec91b_b.jpgimg0934 by HughieDW, on Flickr

46394395834_93b0369bdf_b.jpgimg0912 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Didn’t fancy breaking the waders out:

47077063162_9a19d329c0_b.jpgEast Carlton 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47129365191_7d92032d2d_b.jpgEast Carlton 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

46405812514_0f7dc93f83_b.jpgEast Carlton 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some of the original wiring remains:

32175974877_8c52b5e367_b.jpgimg0928 by HughieDW, on Flickr


47117886981_9217d02483_b.jpgimg0939 by HughieDW, on Flickr
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Feb 20, 2008
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Rawdon Leeds
Literally on my doorstep. Whilst these batteries could defend Leeds from attacking aircraft that flew within range; their major role was in defending the very large manufacturing complex that was attached to Yeadon airfield.

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