Help required in identifying HAA batteries

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by HAARA, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Barry Brown

    Barry Brown Member

    Here's the domed pit structure. It is about 5ft diameter where it meets the ground and the hole is about 2ft diameter. Bricks are yellow clay stock but no other identifying marks are visible. The inside of the dome appears to have been smooth rendered about 1/4in thick, of which some laps up onto the top opening. No idea yet how deep it goes.

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  2. Barry Brown

    Barry Brown Member

    And the nissen hut photos and potential baloon tether site.

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  3. hutt

    hutt Member

    I've found the site where your green nissen hut and brick structure is located. I have a feeling that it doesn't date to WW2. Thats not to say the structure isn't from that era but it wasn't in this location during WW2. It may well have been moved. If you go to Google Earth and slide the historical imagery back. The structure (with 5 distinct 'eyebrow' dormers can bee seen with green cladding back to 2003 when it changes to mottled / rusty colour in the 2001 image. Going further back top 1960 and there is no distinct structure in this location. Now it could of course been completely overgrown at this time but if you take the slider back again to 1940 and there is definitely nothing there and to reinforce that, the pattern in the field which I assume to be an orchard, extends across the area where the hut should be. If a structure was there then I think a more distinct shadow would be apparent although I accept that a rounded nissen hut might not throw a sharp outline.

    This is still very interesting.

    As for the domed brick structure, I'm more tempted to assume it might just be a Victorian cesspit perhaps. Still interesting to excavate!

    You mention that your experience of WW2 Nissen huts is that the corrugations are laid horizontally. There are two sketch illustrations in Dobinsons book and both show the corrugations in a vertical alignment.
  4. Barry Brown

    Barry Brown Member

    Hi Hutt,

    You've got me smiling here that a couple of owners have been 'had over' that it is of WW2 origin when it could just be a 2nd hand nissen hut recycled for commercial use.
    The current owners moved in during 2000 and had it repainted to the green and black it wears at the moment. Some chap apparently repainted it using a ladder, a rope around his waist and his wife holding the rope to stop him sliding too far while he scrambled over it with a brush and tin of paint. That info fits with the colour change you see post 2001. The owner prior to them used it for his ducks and general storage.

    There is indeed an orchard in the left side of the garden beyond the nissen. In fact, I had a lovely plum crumble on Sunday from the victoria plums just coming ripe.
    And on the subject of things being ripe, I don't think I'll be in a hurry to dig out that domed structure if your hunch is correct.

    I've tried Google Earth but I don't have the Pro version that allows the historical timeline view. Would you be able to screenshot into jpeg the 1940 and 1960 aerials please so that I can confirm? The sun tracks directly along the length of the nissen so any shadow may be in the tree line forming the boundary to the farm next door but at least I'll have the evidence trail then to let the owners come down gently.

    At least the ammo box is genuine... or at least the woodworm are. :)

  5. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Yes, looks very much like a Victorian cesspit - very similar to this one.

    The secret pit
  6. Barry Brown

    Barry Brown Member

    Hi Haara,

    That Brompton cesspit is a very close match for the dome structure indeed - many thanks for pinging that over. I have sent the link to the owners and given them the news that they appear to have a victorian sewerage store in their garden.
    I did try the Google Earth web version and it said that the location of this dome structure is 41m above seal level. The house and old well is 40m asl and the front garden onto Green Street Green is 39m asl so it does seem a little surprising to put a cesspit higher than the well that was used for drinking water prior to mains supply and waste water being instated. Maybe it was better to dispose of the 'night soil' away from the main living area behind the stables as it would have had the smells from mucking out at the same time.

    So we have a victorian cesspit, a repurposed nissen hut imported to the site from 1960 onwards and an alleged baloon tether that needs a napalm drop to clear some monster brambles to get anywhere near it to see the metal rings. (would be funny if it is a york stone lid&ring that is supposed to be on top of the cesspit as per Brompton)

    That leaves the ammo box itself for which I still need to track down that 'Lot SL 7853' number if I can.

  7. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    What would be important is the invert level of the drain as it leaves the house and then at the cesspit, as these would most probably be connected by a pipe, the latter being lower than the former despite an increase in height of ground level. I guess that this has long ago silted up, as I assume that the house is now connect to a mains foul drainage system. It probably follows a line of sight to the house, if you want to trace it. A long probe pushed down through the top opening of the cesspit might help establish the base/invert level - that'd be 'interesting'!
    hutt likes this.
  8. hutt

    hutt Member

    Here are the sequential aerial photos that show the structure back though its green phase to a rather rusty condition and then in 1960. However, in that image, I'm not convinced its there unless of course it was completely overgrown by then. Going back again to '1940' I am quite sure there is no trace as the individual trees in the orchard are pretty distinct. I'm slightly suspicious of the 12/1940 date as all the trees appear to have summer canopies. Winter trees tend to be less distinct.
    As HAARA says, its the invert level of the pit that is the key thing and I would be a little wary of the heights in Google Earth while they are a pretty good approximation, from experience, when you get higher resolution LiDAR it will be a lot more accurate.

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