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North Mymms WWII defences

How the parish prepared for invasion


Photograph of the type-24 pillbox in the grounds of Queenswood School, North Mymms Image courtesy of Dr Wendy Bird, Archivist at Queenswood School
The type-24 pillbox in the grounds of Queenswood School, North Mymms
Image courtesy of Dr Wendy Bird, Archivist at Queenswood School

Local wartime archeology mapped


North Mymms is rich in WWII history. The Outer London Defence Ring, set up to deter an invasion on the capital, runs through the south-east of the parish. Close to that line, and scattered elsewhere throughout North Mymms, are items of wartime archeological importance in the form of pillboxes, tank traps, gun emplacements, a Tett turret, and anti-tank trenches.

The North Mymms History Project has attempted to map these historical sites as a permanent record of how the parish was fortified for the 1939 to 1945 war. An interactive map is embedded at the foot of this feature.

We have a number of articles on this site which examine the particular types of fortifications built during WWII.


Pillboxes



Photograph of The north face of the type 24 pillbox in the fields of Boltons Park Farm  Image by the North Mymms History Project released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The north face of the type 24 pillbox in the fields of Boltons Park Farm
Image by the North Mymms History Project
Released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

There are two type-24 pillboxes in North Mymms. Both are on private land. One is to the south-east of Boltons Park Farm south of Hawkshead Road, the other is in the grounds of Queenswood School, to the south of Shepherds Way. We have more details, including grid locations and photographs of both, in our feature North Mymms pillboxes; part of the local WWII defences, as well as images of two more pillboxes in Potters Bar.


Tank traps



Photograph of the tank traps along Bradmore Lane, Brookmans Park. Image from Peter Miller
Bradmore Lane tank traps at the junction with Station Road
Image by Peter Miller of the North Mymms History Project

There are several sites where tank traps were placed across the North Mymms countryside. The aim was to prevent invading tanks pushing south towards London. The sites are at Brookmans Park, Bell Bar, Little Heath, Queenswood School, and at the junction of Well Road and Shepherds Way. Some are on private land, others in hedgerows and woodland. All are logged in the feature on this site entitled North Mymms tank traps.


Tett turret



Close to a public footpath (North Mymms footpath 66) to the east of Woodside Lane and to the north of the A1000 Great North Road lies the significant remains of a Tett turret, part of the WWII defences (Grid Ref: TL 25398 05508). You can read more about the Bell Bar Tett turret in an article on this site.

The Bell Bar Tett turret, North Mymms, Hertfordshire Photograph by the North Mymms History Project Released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The Bell Bar Tett turret, near Woodside Lane, North Mymms
Photograph by the North Mymms History Project
Released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


Spigot mortar emplacements



Photograph of the spigot mortar emplacement close to the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station. Image by David Brewer released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The spigot mortar emplacement close to the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station
Image by the North Mymms History Project
Released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Along with the Tett turret, mentioned above, North Mymms has several spigot mortar emplacements. There is one close to Brookmans Park station and three, perhaps four, surrounding the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station. They are recorded in our feature Brookmans Park's WWII spigot mortar emplacements.


Interactive map of WWII defences in North Mymms



Below is an interactive map showing the sites that we have been able to locate so far. This is a work in progress. If you know of any sites in North Mymms which we have missed, please use the contact form at the bottom right of any page to let us know.




Wartime defences in neighbouring parishes



The Council for British Archaeology’s Defence of Britain database lists the following recordings of items for areas surrounding North Mymms.

Hatfield

  • Cube - At the foot of Darnicle Hill on both sides of railway bridge, E of Newgate Street. Condition: Fair (Grid ref: TL 3076 0467 )
  • Pillbox - At a position under what is now the S lane of the new A414 road, Mill Green. Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 2375 0972 )
  • Pillbox - To the rear of Roe Green Lane, Hatfield. Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 2180 0850 )

South Mimms

  • Anti-tank obstacle - Half way up Ridgehill to the E of the B556 road. Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 202 026 )
  • Caltrop - On the W side of the B556 road by a field gate, 100 yards N of the N exit from South Mimms service station. Condition: Fair (Grid ref: TL 218 015 )

Potters Bar

  • Anti-tank block - In front garden of no.38, Baker Street, Potters Bar. Condition: Unknown (Grid ref: TL 2485 0096 )
  • Anti-tank ditch - Running at right angles to, and between, a stream and the nearby A1(M) road, upstream and S of the bridge carrying Warrengate Lane over the stream at Mimms Hall Cottages, W of Potters Bar. Condition: Fair (Grid ref: TL 2296 0177 )
  • Cube - Condition: Good (Grid ref: TL 2490 0241 )
  • Pillbox - At the junction of Mutton Lane and Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 2490 0110 )
  • Pillbox - Condition: Good (Grid ref: TL 2490 0241 )

Northaw

  • Ammunition store - In woodland (Great Wood) close to the road - The Ridgeway, Northaw. Condition: Good (Grid ref: TL 277 038 )
  • Anti-tank ditch - Running from Newgate Street to Wormley. Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 3084 0481 )
  • Cube - At the entrance to 'Woodlands', at the junction of Shepherd's Way and The Ridgeway, Northaw. Condition: Good (Grid ref: TL 2713 0350 )
  • Cube - In woodland close to the road - The Ridgeway, Northaw. Condition: Good (Grid ref: TL 2771 0385 )
  • Pillbox - Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 2887 0345 )
  • Pillbox - In woodland (Great Wood) close to the road - The Ridgeway, Northaw. Condition: Good (Grid ref: TL 2771 0385 )
  • Pillbox - Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 2862 0330 )
  • Pillbox - Carbone Hill, in woods by road, by stream. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 2979 0425 )
  • Pillbox - Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 3037 0418 )
  • Roadblocks - Carbone Hill, by stream, Northaw. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 2988 0429 )
  • Roadblocks - Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 3012 0423 )
  • Roadblocks - Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 3039 0417 )

Ridge

  • Anti-tank ditch - Rabley Park, Ridge, nr. South Mimms. Condition: Unknown (Grid ref: TL 2074 0120 )
  • Pillbox - Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 1870 0019 )
  • Pillbox - Ridge village centre. Condition: Good (Grid ref: TL 2145 0037 )
  • Pillbox - Bignell's Corner, E of Ridge. Condition: Unknown (Grid ref: TL 224 003 )

Shenley

  • Anti-tank ditch - Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 1965 0011 )
  • Pillbox - Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 1740 0037 )
  • Pillbox - Condition: Destroyed (Grid ref: TL 1722 0026 )
  • Pillbox - In scrub land in Watling Chase Community Forest, just E of the A1081 St. Albans Road. Condition: Fair (Grid ref: TQ 2381 9800 )
  • Pillbox - Woodhall Lane, Shenley. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TQ 1901 9995 )
  • Pillbox - Pursley Wood, Shenley. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 2012 0024 )
  • Pillbox - Porters Park, Radlett. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 1755 0033 )
  • Pillbox - Radlett Lane, Shenley. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 1797 0025 )
  • Pillbox - Green Street, Shenley. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TQ 1916 9992 )
  • Pillbox - Standing by footpath 18 in the fields of Pursley Farm, Shenley., Condition: Fair (Grid ref: TL 1965 0010 )
  • Roadblocks - Porters Park, Radlett. Condition: Extant but condition unknown (Grid ref: TL 1716 0037 )



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