RAF Hornchurch Tett Turrets

Tett turrets at RAF Hornchurch, Essex

The former airfield at RAF Hornchurch in Essex boasts the largest concentration of surviving tett turrets in the country. This ultra rare form of one-man pillbox would have been extremely cramped and restrictive for the guy inside! Thankfully the surviving Tett turrets at Hornchurch are in relatively good condition; the outer rims and gun embrasures are still intact.

One of the tett turrets was excavated by the BBC ‘Two Men in a Trench’ team, whose efforts exposed the original crawl-way. A pair of WW2 goggles were found inside. As you can see from my photographs it has been hollowed out inside and now rests on bricks. The concrete pipe of a second Tett turret nearby is completely full of earth.

The former airfield is accessible to everybody and has other surviving relics, namely four good-condition pillboxes, an anti-aircraft pit, aircraft dispersal bay and compass setting point, two in-tact E-Pens, air raid shelters and what may be some anti-glider cylinders.

By Julieanne Savage

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Defence Structures and sites of all types both above and below ground can be very dangerous. Serious injury or even death can arise from unauthorised entry into such sites and structures. Join a responsible club, group or society who can arrange official visits. The Pillbox Study Group accepts no responsibility for any damages or injuries caused by ignoring this advice. The PSG does not encourage members to undertake the ad hoc clearance of vegetation from pillboxes, as it can expose them to physical damage and inappropriate use, it may also contravene a variety of statutory regulations including, listed buildings and SSSI designations. Vegetation clearance should only ever be undertaken as part of a formal arrangement, having sought and obtained permission from the land owner and other necessary authorities. Damaging a listed or scheduled monument can be considered as a Heritage Crime.

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