Site Records

Site Name: Pembroke Dock - Llanion Barracks - 4 Group AAOR for the Milford Haven GDA

Essex Road
Pembroke Dock

RSG site visit 7th May 2002 and 26th October 2002

Most AAOR's are of the standard design consisting of a two storey blockhouse (see feature: 'Anti-Aircraft Operations Rooms (AAOR's): Evolution, Use & Stand down'), usually with one floor below ground. Four of them however were located in already existing buildings, Dover Castle, Fort Fareham (Fareham), Crownhill Fort (Plymouth) and Llanion Barracks which utilised a former powder magazine attached to the Victorian barracks.

The barracks are on the north side of the town overlooking Milford Haven. In recent years the site has been redeveloped with some of the barrack blocks being refurbished and a network of new roads and housing running around the site. The former powder magazine, built in the 1860s/70s still exists, set into a steep overgrown coastal slope on the north side of Connacht Way.

Photo: The magazine
Photo: The magazine
Photo by Nick Catford & Robin Ware

Access is difficult due to the undergrowth and the fact that the building is surrounded by a 20 foot high stone wall which is itself surrounded on three sides by high palisade fencing. The original entrance into the walled compound was on the north side alongside a little used footpath; this has now been bricked up and access is only possible using ladders. The two bay two storey stone building within the compound remains intact and open. When visited in 1985 it had been severely vandalised and robbed. The slates and lead have been stripped off the roof and all of the pitch pine floor boards have been removed. Amazingly the gallery and its glazed sections had largely been left intact. By 2002 the gallery which was located in the left hand bay had collapsed with only a small section of its wooden framework remaining. The position of the stairs are visible as a mark on the wall.

The right hand bay has been partitioned into a number of rooms. The partition walls are largely intact although all the rooms are empty apart from some electrical fittings. Numerous glazed lighting recesses around the walls (originally part of the magazine) have been filled in. These were served by a lighting passage that ran around the building between the outside walls and the inner vaulted chambers.

Photo:The collapsed gallery, the Victoring lighting recesses can be seen on the left
Photo:The collapsed gallery, the Victorian lighting recesses can be seen on the left
Photo by Nick Catford

A second building stands in an adjacent walled compound. This was originally part of the powder magazine but appears not to have been uses as part of the AAOR. The building is empty.

The wartime AAOR was located at St Botolphs, a minor gentry house to the north west of Milford Haven town.

Those taking part in the visits were Nick Catford, Dan McKenzie, Nick McCamley Robin Ware, Dominic Jackson, Robin Cherry, Dave Mansell, Paul Whippey, Bob Jenner, Dave McKeever and Richard Challis

Photo:In 2002 the room partition walls in the right hand bay were largely intact although the floor boards have been removed.
Photo by Nick Catford

C. 1979 although internally the building was already in poor condition, the gallery, steps and rooms overlooking the plotting room were intact.
Copyright photo by Roger JC Thomas

A view from the south end of the upper level of the plotting room c. 1979:
Copyright photo by Roger JC Thomas

Llanion Barracks magazines looking east c. 1979:
Copyright photo by Roger JC Thomas

Llanion Barracks magazines looking north-west c. 1979:
Copyright photo by Roger JC Thomas

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Last update 16th March 2013

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