WWII

Battle Of Britain: Sites Listed To Mark 80th Anniversary

The sites listed or upgraded include an air raid shelter featuring murals painted by schoolboys and a disguised pillbox.

A number of sites linked to the Battle of Britain have been given protected status to mark 80 years since the battle.

Four sites have been Grade II-listed, including a 110-metre radar air defence tower in Essex that was used to provide early warning of Luftwaffe attacks during the three-and-a-half month campaign.

The Chain Home Transmitter Tower in Great Baddow is the only complete tower of its kind surviving in the British Isles and one of only five surviving from the earliest radar network used during the battle.

The tower was originally erected at RAF Canewdon in south-east Essex in 1937 before being moved to Great Baddow in 1956.

Other sites Grade II listed include an air raid shelter at a primary school in Surrey, which includes a series of colourful murals painted by schoolboys between 1939-1941, as well as a Northumberland pillbox disguised as a a roofless ruin and a war memorial to civilians in Dorset who lost their lives.

The pillbox, which was used to protect Druridge Bay from a German invasion, has walls of differing heights, creating the impression of a ruined civilian building.

It remains mostly untouched and still has some internal features such as a blast wall and the shelves that served as elbow rests.

The Chain Home Transmitter Tower in Essex is 110 metres tall and the only complete tower of its kind still standing in the British Isles (Picture: Historic England Archive).

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "The Battle of Britain affected every corner of our nation and it is right that, as we mark its 80th anniversary, we protect the sites, memorials and buildings paying tribute to those who fought and those who lost their lives.

"I am pleased that by protecting these sites we can continue to tell the story of the Second World War and keep alive the stories of this greatest generation who fought for our freedom."

Two more sites have been upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* and one other re-listed, to mark Battle of Britain Day on Tuesday.

A memorial to the Polish Air Force in Northolt, west London, has been upgraded, as well as another Chain Home Transmitter Tower at RAF Stenigot in Lincolnshire.

The newly listed Druridge Bay Pillbox on Hemscott Hill was disguised as a roofless cottage (Picture Historic England Archive).

The Polish Air Force made a major contribution to the Allied effort during the Second World War - particularly during the Battle of Britain.

Meanwhile, the Spitfire Club at RAF Tangmere in West Sussex has been relisted as Grade II.

It was a fighter base and was the headquarters for Number 11 Group of Fighter Command, which played a key role in the Battle of Britain, defending London and the south-east.​

The listings were made by the Department by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

Cover image: TheSt John’s School boys' air raid shelter includes a number of murals, depicting scenes from stories such as Treaure Island and Robin Hood (Picture: Historic England Archive).