Military In Tynemouth, Tyne And Wear
A six storey lookout tower used to assist gun turrets in both World War 1 and 2.
Heading along the coastal road near Tynemouth lives an unusual white tower block on Percy Gardens. It's not directly on the sea front, so easy to miss, but this was a former lookout post for World War 1 and 2.
Following naval attacks on Scarborough and Hartlepool, in addition to German Zeppelin attacks on Tyneside, the north east coastal defence needed strengthening and two guns were installed at Seaton Sluice and Marsden in South Shields. However to accurately hit the target, you needed to be able to see your target and so this six storey lookout was erected at Tynemouth behind a house owned by the War Office. At the time it was the tallest of its kind and even had its own gun emplacement.
Although the planning for the tower was drawn up in 1916, it wasn't until after the war that the tower and turrets were actually completed. The guns were fired a single time and then retired, but the lookout tower was continued to be used throughout World War 2 most likely for the guns of Tynemouth Battery at Tynemouth Priory.
After the war, the tower was sold as a private residence and is now Grade II listed on the National Heritage List for England.
There is also a short podcast about the lookout tower on the BBC website.
Contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.
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