Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

These are cold war relics on a shingle spit in Suffolk, built to test Britain’s atomic bombs. Here the bombs’ detonators were put in pits and subjected to the shocks they might experience on their way to a target, to ensure they wouldn’t go off prematurely. The detonators were non-nuclear but could still have been devastating if they had exploded, so heavy hats were put over the pits to control the blast, which are among the most enigmatic of the many concrete objects built to defend Britain. Like many things designed without thought for visual effect, these structures, called “pagodas”, are visually effective.

England Culture & Tourism Route © Monika Simon Newbound 2020

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