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Blyth Battery

World War One History

Blyth Battery is a coastal defence artillery battery, built in 1916 to defend the port of Blyth and the submarine base there during World War I, and upgraded for re-use during World War II. It is the most intact, accessible and intelligible coast defence battery on the North East and Yorkshire coast, with individual buildings and features of considerable rarity. It comprises two building groups – a twin coast defence gun emplacement and a twin searchlight emplacement, each with associated buildings, mostly in concrete with some brick. Each building group was in a compound surrounded by a fence, and the entire Battery was served by temporary hutment camps for off-duty personnel on adjoining land. Some buildings are partially sunken or built into dunes to conceal or protect them, and some were partially concealed with false roofs and structures.

Post WWI History

It was handed over to the local authority in 1925 and, although recommissioned for World War II, has since been absorbed into the wider recreational use of the Links, a 2-mile stretch of formal and informal open space south of Blyth town centre, comprising a long concave beach, dunes, mown grass and car-parks. All the Battery’s main buildings survive, most being vacant though some are in leisure-related use. Virtually all signs of the compounds, temporary hutment camps and false concealment structures are gone. The Battery’s buildings are scheduled and listed Grade II. The site is also within a local nature reserve.

Recharging Blyth Battery

In 2004, the North of England Civic Trust was commissioned to prepare a Conservation Plan for Blyth Battery. Following this work a dedicated team of local people worked with Blyth Valley Borough Council to secure £1/2 million of funding, and work began on site in late 2008. The funding, from English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery, and Northumberland County Council, has restored the historic fabric of the buildings, created useable visitor space in the Magazine and Shelter buildings, and provided interpretation such as a waymarked trail around the site.

Rear of the WWI B.O.P

Why is it painted pink?

The colours used in the restoration of the Battery are based on paint samples taken from the buildings themselves. They show when each structure or feature was built; grey for World War I, pink for World War II, and white for alterations between and after the Wars.

and day shelters
Funders' Logos

Blyth Battery Volunteers raise money through guided tours, the sale of refreshments, fundraising activities and kind donations from visitors. This income is used to support the work of the volunteers in opening the Battery to the public, putting on events and looking after the site for future generations.

Defending our port