The 8th May 2020 marks 75 years since the end of fighting in Europe (VE Day). The towers on Darell’s Battery at Landguard Fort, opposite Harwich, were constructed in 1939–40 to direct guns (twin 6-pounders) defending this strategic port.
Landguard point, with its rich heritage and a major bird observatory, is to received a coastal heritage award (“Coastal heritage sites to get £3m cash boost“, BBC News 11 December 2015). It is one of 77 coastal locations to receive funding.
Discover Landguard is an exciting project that seeks to develop an enhanced heritage offer on the Landguard Peninsula which encompasses the regional heritage assets of Landguard Fort, Felixstowe Museum and a SSSI Nature Reserve.
During our tour of Landguard Fort we were allowed to have access to the upper levels. These provided amazing views across the barracks (officers above, men below) towards the Port of Felixstowe container port. The channel for ships entering (or leaving) Harwich brings vessels close to the walls (and guns) of Landguard (note the position of the Stena Line ferry). The large arches on the left of the picture are the gun casemates, positioned to dominate the harbour mouth.
Professor David Gill, Director of Heritage Futures, joined Simon Thurley of English Heritage, the staff of Landguard Fort and the Landguard Partnership for a tour of the fort and the Felixstowe Museum. There are wonderful views over the estuary to Harwich and the adjacent Felixstowe container port, and up the coast to the now lost location of the Roman Saxon Shore Fort (Walton Castle).