From the War of Independence to the D-Day Landings in WWII, the places associated with American military activity in England
American Military Chapel, entrance walls and flagpole at Brookwood Cemetery
Listed Grade II in 1984
A chapel of 1925, possibly by Egerton Swartwhent, in a Greek Revival style. Stone c25 foot square with a portico of four fluted Doric columns up a flight of five steps. The frieze is inscribed: "Perpetual light upon them shines". The return fronts have two half Doric columns with a scroll frieze and stained glass windows between. Inside, is a handkerchief vault on marble columns in the corners with two Doric columns along each side. The walls have bronze rolls of honour and there is mosaic behind the altar. The stone entrance walls were added c1930. They are to an oval plan with a long axis east-west, the main path bisecting the walls and a further path to the north leading to the Chapel. The 2½ feet high walls of smooth ashlar have square piers to each end and crowning urns with scrolls on lion paw feet and eagles with outstretched wings on shields. There are also three low stone seats on scroll legs to the south. The flagpole also dates to c1930 and has a stone plinth, bronze fittings and wooden staff. The flagpole is fluted on its lower quarter and is topped with a ball finial and bronze eagle.
'Bunkers Hill' Farmhouse and adjoining barns
Listed Grade II in 1967
This pink sandstone farmhouse with battlemented parapet, and its adjoining red sandstone barns or byres, was built in the late C18 for the 11th Duke of Norfolk (a supporter of the American cause) with additions dated and inscribed HCH 1890 (Henry Charles Howard). Through an inscription on the front wall that reads ' BUNKERS HILL JUNE 17TH 1775', the farmhouse commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first major battle of the American War of Independence.
6, 8 and 10 Rumford Place, Liverpool
Listed Grade II in 1982
This c.1840 stucco and brick office building was the listed for historical reasons as the headquarters of James Dunwoody Bulloch (1823-1901), the chief foreign agent in Britain of the Confederate States of America. In 1861, soon after shots were fired on Fort Sumter, the first engagement of the Civil War, Bulloch travelled to Liverpool to establish a base of operations. He commissioned Confederate Cruisers to be built in England, mainly on Merseyside under the cover of the Southern Cotton Commissioners. The most famous of these ships was the CSS Alabama. This building was in effect the Confederate Embassy in England.
SJ 3490 NW
Listed Grade II in 1986
This lodge, built of deeply-coursed, squared rubble sandstone, with and embattled parapet, was built c1775 for Thomas, 3rd Earl of Effingham. Effingham resigned his commission when ordered to the American War of Independence, and he spoke against the war in the House of Lords in 1775. This building commemorates the Americans' first encounter with the British at Bunker's Hill near Boston in 1775 in which the British scored a hollow victory.
D-Day Embarkation Slipways and adjoining linking section of quay wall
Listed Grade II* in 2000
These two slipways were constructed in 1943 of reinforced concrete, and run out from the quay wall as part of Operation Overlord, the springboard for the Allied invasion of German-occupied Europe. The American troops of 4th Division of 7 Corps used the slipways to embark for the crossing to 'Utah' beach in Normandy for the D-Day landings. Extremely rare survivals, these slipways are possibly the best-surviving example of D-Day fabric in the country.
Buildings at Lippits Hill
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Spider Block accommodation range, Officers' accommodation, Mess Block and Commanders Office (all 1939-40)
Listed Grade II in 2003
ZE7 Lippitts Hill was one of Britain's premier heavy anti-aircraft gun sites during World War II. The battery was operational in January 1940, equipped with 3.7-inch guns, and in 1943 it was one of the sites operated by a mixed battery of men and women. It is likely that the Spider Block is a rare example of shared accommodation. At the end of 1943 the complex was handed over to the American forces and it was from this site, in March 1944, that the 184th Anti-Aircraft Artillery fired the first American guns in defence of London.
Buildings at Upper Heyford Airbase
Former Squadron Headquarters building (1950s with late-1970s 'hard' section to the rear); Military airfield control tower with associated blast wall and magnetometer base (1950-2); Nose dock hangars (1951)
All listed Grade II in 2008
In the early 1950s Upper Heyford Airbase was among those which passed to the USAF's Strategic Air Command, at which point it was extensively remodeled with new runways and bomb stores, the control tower and four Nose Docking Sheds for aircraft maintenance. Between 1953 and 1965 B-47 SAC Stratojets operated out of here. The base then passed to USAF Europe and for the remainder of the 1960s it was mainly used by reconnaissance aircraft including U2s, RF101 Voodoos, and later Phantoms. In 1970 a new generation of advanced bomber, the F-111, was deployed here, this being the sole carrier of the USA's intermediate range nuclear deterrent in Europe. In the 1970s the appearance of the airfield was transformed by NATO's policy of hardening and 'dulling down' its main operating bases against conventional, chemical and biological attack. Fifty-six hardened aircraft shelters were built including a new Victor Alert area, four hardened Squadron Headquarters, a hardened Avionics Centre and a hardened Battle Command Bunker and Telephone Exchange. In 1986 F-111s from Upper Heyford and Lakenheath attracted worldwide attention for a retaliatory strike on Libya, while in 1990 Upper Heyford's F-111s participated in operation Desert Shield after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait. In 1993 in the defence draw-down after the end of the Cold War, and in part due to the obsolescence of the F-111, the USAF withdrew from the base, which was returned to the RAF. Structures erected during the Cold War (1946-89) are among the most potent physical manifestations of the global division between capitalism and communism that shaped the history of the second half of the C20. The three nose-dock hangars have historic interest as rare built survivals of this era, demonstrating graphically the special relationship between Britain and the United States, and they have technical interest in their early use of aluminium as a building material. Altogether these buildings demonstrate the phases of the American nuclear deterrent in Britain as is found at no other base.
Buildings at Alconbury airfield
The Avionics Building (built c.1989 by US Air Force); Hardened Aircraft Shelters (built c.1983 by the US Air Force)
All listed Grade II* in 2007
Land for an airfield at Alconbury was first acquired in 1938 as a satellite landing ground for RAF Upwood and when war broke out, the base was used by Blenheims from RAF Wyton. As part of the US 8th Air Force, it fulfilled a variety of roles until being handed back to the RAF in November 1945. In June 1953, the base was reactivated for the US 3rd Air Force and from 1959, Alconbury assumed its principal Cold War role as the home to various reconnaissance squadrons. In 1983, U2/TR-1 spy planes were permanently based at Alconbury, resulting in the construction of a number of hardened structures including the Avionics building and 13 Hardened Aircraft Shelters. Following the cessation of the Cold War, flying ceased in March 1995 and the base was released for disposal. The hardened Avionics building is a very rare surviving example of this building type and is unique amongst the few such buildings in England, because of its size, form and internal survival of the vehicular decontamination unit and compressed air re-pressurising system. It is uniquely associated with the U2/TR1 aircraft, stationed only at Alconbury. As one of the last Cold War structures built in the country, it is the most sophisticated hardened structure remaining and as such has very special architectural and historic interest. The pairs of Hardened Aircraft Shelters are the only ones of this type constructed in Europe, all at Alconbury, and were designed to accommodate the U2/TR1 planes which were deployed at Alconbury in the final decade of the Cold War. Along with other buildings of this type and age, these buildings represent the physical manifestation of the global division between capitalism and communism that shaped the history of the late 20th century.
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