Site Records

SiteName: Hougham Battery - Fortress & Battery Potting Room

South side of A20
Dover, Kent
OS Grid Ref: TR290392

Sub Brit site visit 29th December 2002

[Source: Nick Catford]

The plotting room has three two foot high concrete pillars at one end of the room, these were the supports for the 'Converter - Co-ordinate' Some wood panels remain in place on the back wall. Those to the right were the mountings for the 'Transformers for the Magslip Transmission System' and those to the left were for the 'Terminating boxes for the underground Magslip Transmission System' (top) and the 'Magslip Transmission Switch Panel' (bottom).

Photo:Battery Plotting Room
Photo by Nick Catford

Below is an exploded view of a typical Battery Plotting Room (The plan is for South Foreland but the layout is the same).

Exploded view of a typical battery plotting room

  • 4 Battery Plotting Room Switch
  • 5 Table-Fire Direction
  • 6 Oil pump for TFD
  • 7 Rotary Converter
  • 8 Converter-Co-ordinate
  • 9 Magslip Transmission Switch Panel
  • 10 Magslip cable failure indicator
  • 11 Transformers in Magslip Transmission System
  • 12 Terminating boxes for underground Magslip Transmission Cables
  • 20 Time and Flight Indicator
  • 21 Range and Bearing repeat dial

Diagonally opposite the entrance hatch there is a small room with a metal cabinet mounted above the door, this appears to contain two large metal rectifiers but its purpose is unknown although it was probably part of the ventilation system. The room was probably a switchboard room. Adjacent to this room is a short corridor which turn right through two rooms which have lines of coat hooks along one wall. At the end of the second room there is a left turn into the main entrance corridor which is much higher then the rest of the bunker, perhaps 10 feet. There is a single room to the right and two rooms to the left, one accessed through the other; one of these would have been the ventilation plant rooms. The first room has an original wooden shelf fixed to one wall. Beyond the door into these rooms is a low opening into a drainage tunnel that runs around three sides of the bunker to a dead end. Numerous pipes can be seen in the wall. Beyond the entrance to this narrow tunnel there is one final small room on the left which still retains its original steel door, this was the guard room. Beyond this room the passage has been backfilled from the surface.

Photo:The original entrance to the plotting room - now backfilled
Photo by Nick Catford

Apart from the battery plotting room most of the internal walls are about 10" thick with holes high in the wall between rooms that would have carried the ventilation trunking. There is a channel cut in the floor in some parts of the bunker. Some electrical fittings still remain in place including metal lampshades and light switches.

Hougham Battery under construction- underground magazine in the foreground

Apart from some soil at the bottom of the shaft the bunker is clean and dry and one of the rooms has straw bales on the floor indicating that it had been used by far animals before the entrance was backfilled. Much of the original paint is still in place on the internal walls.

According to the farmer the WC block that was located a short distance to the east of the plotting room has been demolished as have the two accommodation Nissen huts close by. There is however a small rectangular building concrete building 75 yards east of the plotting room.

It's unclear what the building was used for as it doesn't appear on existing plans of the site but judging by its appearance it may have been the power house that was required to run the equipment in plotting room. It is recorded that the battery had three power houses, two 50 kW power houses were located to the north of the gun emplacements; these would have supplied power for the guns.

The third power house (10kW) was for fire control and date transmission, its precise location is not recorded.

No. 1 Gun

Further information and pictures about this site continues here

[Source: Nick Catford]

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