A big public park in east London accommodates maybe the richest assortment of WW2 concrete fortifications inside London in a small space. It’s a former army airfield that was transformed into a rustic park for locals within the Nineteen Eighties, however retains quite a lot of heavy concrete fortifications to find.
The airfield, RAF Hornchurch, was opened throughout WW1, when it was often known as Sutton’s Farm for the Protection of London, and though it was closed after the struggle, it was given so much for the RAF a couple of years later. was reopened as a bigger airfield. The airfield was ideally meant to cowl each London and the Thames Hall from German air raids. It was a significant Air Power institution between each wars and within the jet age, closing in 1962.
After its closure, many of the land was used for gravel extraction and as a dump, till it was cleared within the Nineteen Eighties at Hornchurch Nation Park, which is open to the general public.
It is an enormous place, bounded by the Ingreborn River on one aspect, and housing on the opposite, however has good hills to climb inside, plenty of woodlands to discover, and plenty of items of WW2 army fortifications to discover .
Fortunately, should you’re searching for WW2 concrete right here, there is a walkway, with loads of capsule containers across the previous army website in case the Germans invaded the nation. What’s actually cool is that the show boards close to them additionally present how massive they’re – as many are a lot bigger than one would possibly in any other case suspect. Some are sufficiently big to stroll inside, should you do not thoughts risking the occasional spiderweb or faux graffiti.
The southern finish can also be excessive, and there’s a good trig-point model stone pyramid on the prime of the hill which supplies some good views over this a part of east London and simply over central London. The hill is essentially grassy, and it’s not till you descend into the valley in that shade, and in locations the currents cool the air.
The paths are a mixture of gravel or tarmac, however in a single place the paths will not be from the nation park clearings within the Nineteen Eighties, however roads alongside the perimeter of the airfield which will have been patrolled by armed troopers throughout the struggle.
Relying on the way you get right here, there is a customer heart on the north finish of the park, or as I did, beginning on the southern finish nearer to Rainham Corridor. Subsequent to the customer heart on the northern finish is a strange-looking carving of a fighter airplane that appears quite much less terrifying to the enemy. And as you’re within the space, there’s the just lately opened RAF Hornchurch Museum, which is great.
As a rustic park, it is a beautiful place to go to, though the southern half is extra barren and fairly unforgiving with a scarcity of shade on a sizzling day, however what makes it value visiting from afar is WW2 strolling The path, as it’s as you discover them, gives lots to see in addition to stroll off every of the concrete fortifications.
It’s a quick stroll from Rainham Station on the C2C Line or Hornchurch Station on the District Line.