Remains of East Blockhouse
Remains of East Blockhouse, near Angle
In 1539 King Henry VIII ordered construction of two stone “blockhouses”, equipped with guns, to guard the entrance to the strategically important Milford Haven waterway. At this time Britain feared an attempted invasion by the French and Spanish. It’s likely that both West Blockhouse, on the opposite shore, and East Blockhouse were never finished.
Coastal erosion has seen off much of the Tudor structure at East Blockhouse but one wall remains, along with a corner and the end of the adjoining wall.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail (part of the Wales Coast Path) also passes various remnants of East Blockhouse battery, constructed in the first years of the 20th century and updated as demands and technology changed. Various large guns were mounted here until 1944. During the Second World War, German aircraft raided the naval dockyard at nearby Pembroke Dock. Even then, East Blockhouse was not needed as an active defence but was used for practice. The battery’s two six-inch guns (the bore of the barrels was 15cm in diameter) were moved in 1941 to Lavernock battery, near Penarth.
The last guns were removed in 1944, followed by the remaining ammunition in 1947. A radar station continued to operate here until the late 1990s.
Grid reference: SM84210274
Other MILITARY HiPoints in this region:
Site of gun craft tragedy, Freshwater West – 85 men died when two gun craft sank in 1943
Henry Tudor’s landing site – Nucleus of Tudor army started march to Bosworth here