Memories: the concrete WW2 defences that prepared for German invasion

PUBLISHED: 11:02 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:07 26 April 2018

Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Remnants of Britain’s World War Two defences have been found in Welwyn Hatfield.

Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Close to a public footpath in the hamlet of Bell Bar, to the east of Woodside Lane and to the north of the A1000 Great North Road, lies a heap of concrete and metal.

It appears to be the remains of a Tett turret, part of the World War Two defences.

Almost directly to the west, at the side of Woodside Lane, are seven tank traps on either side of the road, part of the same wartime anti-invasion precautions.

Clearly, the hamlet of Bell Bar was a strategic spot during the war.

Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Was this defending the Brookmans Park transmitting station?

According to Wikipedia, the Tett turret was “a type of hardened field fortification built in Britain during the invasion crisis of 1940 to 1941.

“It was a small circular pillbox named after its inventor H.L. Tett.

“It comprised a revolving concrete turret mounted on a ball race that allowed it to be turned easily.

Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

“The turret was set above a pit; in early designs, the pit was formed by a standard section of concrete pipe four feet (1.2m) in diameter.

“The turret was a 20 inch (50cm) high truncated cone of reinforced concrete weighing 1,456 pounds (660kg) with a single embrasure and several spy holes.”

The Bell Bar Tett turret (Grid Ref: TL 25398 05508) was spotted by a North Mymms resident who posted an image of the remains on North Mymms History Project’s community forum.

Closer inspection of what is left of the turret indicates that there is a concrete base underneath, but the site is now filled in with soil.

Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Another theory is that it could have been moved and dumped in its current location.

Usually, a Tett turret would have been placed over a ditch so that the occupier could crawl in (see image).

A well-preserved Tett turret has been photographed north of the village of Docking, King’s Lynn, West Norfolk.

This article originally appeared on the North Mymms History Project website, which has links to further resources and articles.

The Tett turret is marked with the blue marker, grid reference TL 25398 05508. Picture: Google MapsThe Tett turret is marked with the blue marker, grid reference TL 25398 05508. Picture: Google Maps

The North Mymms History Project is a community project that welcomes contributions on anything of local historical interest.

For more information, see www.northmymmshistory.uk

A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0Remains of a Tett turret in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0A WW2 tank trap in North Mymms. Picture: North Mymms History Project/Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


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