Sutton Weaver’s Ancient Monument

I wonder how many people knew that we have an Ancient Monument - and what it is?

The monument is World War 2 Station 18, a Heavy Anti-aircraft (HAA) gunsite situated at National Grid reference SJ54917935 - or - 400 meters west of Sutton Fields Farm. Monument No: 33857.

The gunsite was built in February 1940 with five gun emplacements. In June 1942 it was equipped withfour 3.7” guns supported by GL MkII radar and manned by units of the Home Guard. It had several other buildings for stores, billets, maintenance and a generator, plus a command post. The guns were arranged in an arc around the south eastern and south western sides of the central command post. Its
purpose was to protect the Weaver Navigation and Manchester Ship canals.

The enemy might well have targeted the viaduct, other bridges and of course the industries in the area.

This gunsite was one of several in the area. I believe the site on Frodsham Hill had a young captain by the name of Edward Heath.
This site is one of nearly 1,000 sites which were built and is considered to be one of sixty well preserved examples, which is why it was awarded Ancient Monument status.

When World War 2 commenced a significant development in warfare was strategic bombing. This resulted in the government developing the gunsites to defend potential targets all over the country which would be in the range of German bombers.

The number of people in Anti-aircraft Command reached a peak of 274,900 men. In addition many women soldiers of the ATS served on sites as did the Home Guard in the later stages of the war.

The HAA sites, such as Sutton, contained the big guns and were located to engage high flying strategic bombers bound for cities and specific strategic targets. The sites were substantially built. The guns were placed in octagonal open pens approximately 7.5 metres across. Inside each, attached to four of the walls were concrete roofed boxes which served to store ammunition and offer shelter to the gun crews when they were not in action.

HAA gunsite areial view, Sutton Weaver - click to enlarge
Sutton Weaver gun emplacement - click to enlarge