The remains of the Second World War Portbury (Sheepway) anti aircraft battery and military camp. Four octagonal emplacements, support structures and extant buildings, were mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1946 and 1947. The construction of four reinforced concrete gun emplacements (a half battery), located adjacent to Atherton House, north of Sheepway village and east of Portishead dock, (centred at ST 4869 7660) was began in 1938. The battery was manned by No. 237 Battery, 76th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Sited in a semi-circular arc, with the convex plane facing westwards to Portishead dock, each of the four gun emplacements is an open, octagonal enclosure about 13 metres in diameter with shoulder high external walls. Inside each emplacement are ammunition alcoves for shells stored on wooden racks. Each gun emplacement has an engine room building and a crew shelter outside. Guns at the site may have been varied, including 3.7 inch and 4.5 inch guns as well as 40mm Bofors guns and GL Mark II radar. To the rear of the four gun emplacements is the battery’s command post, which would have contained the range finder/predictor. Also nearby are two magazines. The military camp adjacent to the heavy anti aircraft battery is accessed from Wharf Lane and consists of rectangular military buildings of varying size, some with pitched roofs and some Nissen huts. First hand accounts by ex-servicemen describe the camp as being well-appointed, with a Naafi, interconnecting sleeping huts with mattressed beds and indoor ablutions with hot water and flushing toilets. Aerial photographs taken in 1989 show that the camp and battery has been decommissioned and the whole site in a disused state: all of the camp buildings have been demolished, although some of their concrete bases are still visible. However, the gun emplacements, command post and magazine of the anti aircraft battery are still visible but much overgrown with vegetation.



  • Lyn Channing, August 27, 2023 @ 15:36

    My late father, Stephen Baker was in the TA and stationed here early in WW2. He later manned the Purdown guns before being called up and sent to the Middle East in 1941.

  • Paul Chilcott, December 4, 2018 @ 16:54

    My Granddad, Service record No 5173656 B.S.M Chilcott A.T (MBE) was stationed here during WW2, his total service was 21 years, very proud of him.

  • Paul Climie, May 31, 2015 @ 11:58

    Nice to see these pictures as my granny, who is 90 just now, was stationed at these anti-aircraft guns at Portishead for 4 years during the war. If there is a lot still standing I will try to visit. I wrote a wee bit about her memories of it here – blogpost link

  • tumbles, August 30, 2014 @ 12:25

    Lovely comment, thanks

  • Roger Mosedale, August 29, 2014 @ 15:44

    It’s good that you are photographing these places remember, good men and true to our nation had to live and operate in these places… it’s hard for us now to truly appreciate what they had to endure during wartime away from family and in danger continually. Before being shipped over on the D-Day landings, Mulberry Harbour Caen and Walcherren Island, my Father was part of a gun battery team on Flat Holm, Steep Holm, Nells Point and Poole Harbour. Gunner/Lance Bombardier Harold Mosedale 1710803.

  • andrew, October 10, 2013 @ 20:19

    Possible to visit site, if you ring 07971620572

  • mandy, December 14, 2011 @ 16:27

    owned/looked after by avon wildlife trust i think?

  • tumbles, November 19, 2010 @ 08:08

    It’s just in a field..

  • MAX, November 18, 2010 @ 17:46

    Hey brilliant pictures. Was wondering if anybody knew any contact details for this place as I’d like to use it as a film locations. Any idea who I could contact about that? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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