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A pair of Tett Turrets

A Grade II Listed Building in Docking, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.902 / 52°54'7"N

Longitude: 0.6255 / 0°37'31"E

OS Eastings: 576682

OS Northings: 337072

OS Grid: TF766370

Mapcode National: GBR Q4Y.2YX

Mapcode Global: WHKPP.LB22

Entry Name: A pair of Tett Turrets

Listing Date: 13 June 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443480

Location: Docking, King's Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk, PE31

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Civil Parish: Docking

Built-Up Area: Docking

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Docking St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Norwich

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Summary

A linked pair of Tett Turrets, small Second World War military structures set partially below ground and designed to provide a protected gun position for a single occupant.

Description

A linked pair of Tett Turrets: small military structures set partially below ground, designed to provide a protected gun position for a single occupant, with a rotating cap section which allowed a 360 degree field of fire.

MATERIALS: pre-manufactured reinforced concrete turret mounted on brick walls.

PLAN: the turrets are arranged in what is believed to be a unique configuration, aligned north-south, and linked by a 12ft long narrow circular tunnel. A short branch tunnel, located at the centre of the linking tunnel extends westwards, and may have provided access to the turrets from a trench at the rear of the site.

EXTERIOR: the above-ground elements of the twin turrets are low rotating concrete truncated cones, each with a single gun embrasure and several spy holes or slits. The cones are mounted on ball-bearing races which allowed the turrets to be turned. The turret cones are set upon concrete slabs, supported upon rectangular brickwork enclosures. The southern enclosure has an opening in the south side wall.

INTERIOR: the turrets retain steel seat hangars for wooden seats, one of which is believed to survive (2016).

History

The pair of Tett Turrets, small-scale, partially-buried, pre-formed defence structures, are believed to have been installed in their location in Docking, Norfolk in 1940-41. The turret was invented by H LTett as a single occupancy pillbox structure and manufactured by Burbedge Builders Ltd of East Horsley Surrey. Most installations comprised a single turret, but the Docking site is an extremely rare example of a pair of turrets linked by a short tunnel. The company manufactured a hundred turrets, but despite its low cost - £18 for the turret assembly- only thirty-one were sold.

The turrets were part of a more extensive defence installation implemented in Docking, which included the construction of a number of larger pillboxes. Following the withdrawal from Dunkirk, plans were drawn up for defending the country from invasion on the East coast as well as the South. Docking was designated a Category 'A' Nodal Point and Brigade Headquarters, Category 'A' status being applied to towns and villages on the main road network which were within fifteen miles of the coast, or with five or more essential routes leading into them, or on 'routes of reinforcing formations'.
The turrets are now located in a narrow band of trees which help define the boundary of the field to the east.

Reasons for Listing


The pair of Tett Turrets, small Second World War military structures set partially below ground and designed to provide a protected gun position for a single occupant, located at Docking in Norfolk, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: the linked Tett Turret structures are evocative reminders of the early part of the Second World War when enemy invasion from mainland Europe was widely anticipated;
* Rarity: only a small number of this type of defence structure were produced and a much smaller number installed. Only six examples are known to survive, and no other paired examples have been identified;
* Degree of survival: the structures have survived in almost unaltered condition, in a location which has remained largely unchanged since their installation;
* Site significance: the turrets were installed as part of a network of defence structures in Docking which had been designated as a ' Category 'A' Nodal Point', a status applied to settlements on major roads within 15 miles of the coast deemed to be of strategic significance.

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