Monument record MCC7259 - WWII Searchlight Emplacement at Cudmore Grove Country Park, East Mersea


This WWII searchlight emplacement was part of the East Mersea coastal artillery battery.


Grid reference Centred TM 0666 1449 (19m by 17m)
Map sheet TM01SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

1993: This searchlight emplacement was part of the East Mersea coastal artillery battery. It is shown on maps dated 1960 and photos taken in 1974.<1><2> Now the remains lie as broken concrete on the beach after extensive damage by coastal erosion. One photo of site.<3>

During World War Two, what is now Cudmore Grove Country Park was a coastal artillery battery with two 4.7-inch guns, probably of World War One vintage. A Battery Observation Post was the central command position, horizontally-aimed searchlights swept the sea at night from concrete bunkers, and pillboxes guarded the perimeter against ground attack.

In 2007, two pillboxes still survive, both in good condition. The two gun casemates now lie as broken concrete on the sands but remain very recognisable from the large ring of gun-holding bolts, the holdfast. Similarly, the Battery Observation Post is now shattered concrete on the beach, as is one of the two searchlight emplacements, both recognisable from the distinctive shapes. The remaining searchlight emplacement survives as a concrete base on the cliff edge.

After 60 years, very few WWII 4.7-inch coastal artillery sites still survive in anything approaching significant form. All the remains at Cudmore Grove, including the extant pillboxes, the broken emplacements on the beach and the remaining searchlight base, are important features of WWII archaeology, part of the history and heritage of wartime Essex. The loss of any part would be a loss to the integrity of the whole.

See also <4>.

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Map: unknown. 1960. Reprographics. TM0614.
  • <2> Photograph: Hunter, John. 1979. SMR. two frames.
  • <3> Photograph: Nash, Fred. 1993. SMR. one frame.
  • <4> Photograph: Colchester Historic Buildings Forum. 2011. Digital photograph of 10-14 Vineyard Street, Colchester. Digital. Volume 1.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Jun 12 2020 1:59PM

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