Defended Land May 2013

12th May 2013

Beaumont Brown Architects has been awarded the conservation work to repair and present the Acoustic Mirror at Fulwell, Sunderland. We will be working with Sunderland City Council, English Heritage and Limestone Landscapes to restore the mirror and provide a better understanding of this pioneering structure. 

The Mirror is one of the few surviving WWI early warning devices designed to provide alert of impending attacks from ships and Zeppelins on North East industrial complexes and the eastern seaboard from the Tyne to the Humber. They were often located in pairs to provide triangulation to achieve a better position of the attacker. The Fulwell mirror is orientated towards the sky and its purpose is primarily the detection of aerial attack. It is one of the Coastal Watcher type or Track Plotting Mirrors and similar in design to the Redcar and Boulby Mirrors though Boulby’s construction technique differs slightly.

Fulwell is one of probably only eleven sites in the UK where remains of acoustic detection survive. This evidence of the defence of our nation in the 20C is nationally important. It adds to the eastern seaboard defences which extend above the Tyne to Berwick upon Tweed where extensive WWII protection of anti tank traps, gun emplacements, and bombing range towers survive- particularly at Holy Island which were surveyed by us for Peregrini Lindisfarne. 

The mirror is a U shaped concrete structure with east facing raked dish feature. The north and south flank walls support the east wall and thought to be constructed circa 1916. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Listed Grade II

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