Beacon Hill Fort is one of three defences on the estruary of the River Orwell. One is at Felixstowe, and the other at Shotley.
Harwich has had a long naval history, with something at Beacon Hill since at least Henry VIII’s time. Much of the fort was built in the 1890’s, and used a novel idea of camoflaging it with the landscape. It was extended during WWII. It finally closed in 1956, but military presence continued until the 1970’s. Since then it has deteriorated and suffered at the hands of local vandals.
That’s a very very brief history of the place – SubBrit has an excellent piece about it.
There are two observation towers here. As you can see from the panorama, they have a wonderful view of the estruary and sea.
One the right of the picture you can see the other observation tower, and one of the gun emplacements to the left.
The other is tower slightly smaller and is built onto one of the gun emplacements (“Cornwallis Battery”)
There are four huge emplacements for guns here. One has a curious corrugated-concrete effect going on.
A few other buildings were explored, including a small shell store. This even had a winch to the battery above.
There is a small underground area at Beacon Hill Fort – used for munitions storage.