Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Hidden Henley

Hidden Henley

AS you walk the Thames Path from Whitchurch towards Goring, take a look at this curious well-hidden concrete gun emplacement, considerably overgrown with foliage yet still accessible.

It is right beside one of the wide skewed brick arches of Brunel’s Gatehampton railway bridge, itself a Grade II listed piece of history, completed in 1840.

There were around 17,000 of these pill-boxes built for defence against invasion during the Second World War and readers who have hired a boat for a Thames holiday will have seen plenty of them beside the river in this area.

It is believed that many around here were constructed, with walls more than 1m thick, by Boshers of Cholsey or Smallbone of Streatley, but because the whole plan was secret some information is simply not available.

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