Dennis Country

Dennis Country

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Please send me an email if you wish to leave a comment. My website includes sections on the environment, green woodworking and some industrial history photos from Gwent, UK.

Ruin on Cefn Crib Mountain, Pontypool

HistoryPosted by Dennis Hopkins Mon, August 24, 2015 10:31PM
I recently visited an outline building ruin to the west of Pontypool (ST 24100 99720; Lat, Long: 51.691062°, -3.099337°). It was built of double coursed bricks, an approximate octagonal shape, with attached rectangular outline shaped walls. Please click the images below for larger versions (these open in a new window or tab).
I wondered initially if this ruin may have been a gun emplacement, or something to do with a nearby old coal level. It's curious that it's not shown on any maps I've found so far, except for the highest resolution of a current online Ordnance Survey map.
The octagonal shape reminded me of Pontypool Folly, which was demolished in 1940 to stop it being used as a landmark for German bombers targeting Glascoed munitions factory. Was this a "replica" Pontypool Folly built in WW2 to confuse German war planes? Perhaps the answer is in a local history book I haven't read yet.
1 Sept 2015: There is a platform about 120m away constructed of similar bricks and reinforced concrete (photo below). The commanding position at over 1200 ft ASL, with long range 360 degree view, suggests that this would probably have been a good place for a WW2 anti aircraft gun.
8 Oct. 2015: Thanks to Phil Jenkins (website) for making enquiries, and information received from a number of people, it seems likely that the octagonal ruin was a WW2 RAF watch tower / lookout post. Also that searchlight(s) and anti-aircraft gun(s) were located in the area in WW2, my guess possibly on the recangular hard standing. The octagonal ruin is a similar shape to a Type 27 WW2 pillbox, but I didn't see evidence of a roof. That may have been recycled, but having no roof would be useful for spotting aeroplanes! Differing from the pillbox, Phil pointed out that northern wall is in two overlapping sections, to provide a recessed entrance (presumably) - this can be seen on Google Earth images. Some photos taken of the views surrounding this site are available here.

I hope I've summarised the information correctly, and would be happy to include any further comments (with credit). In that case please send me an email