The Secret Tunnels of South Heighton

East Gun Post & Pit.  Before & After 2000.

These pictures show the East Adit Deep Pit at the bottom of the flight of fifty-one stairs as found in 1994.

At the foot of the flight of fifty-one stairs, across the entire width of the passage, is a 6 ft (2 M) deep grenade/man trap. It originally had a strong removable wooden cover but this was liberated by looters. The normally-covered trap was almost certainly designed with a serious purpose in mind. With the cover removed, any enemy invaders careering down the stairs in the pitch dark would have fallen headlong into the deep pit with the certain prospect of incapacitation, and the distinct possibility of decapitation. That is assuming they were lucky enough to get that far, because what appears to be a black square on the wall beyond the pit is in fact a machine-gun post embrasure with a dedicated field of fire - the flight of fifty-one stairs!

The machine-gun post entrance was restricted by the sixty-degree-angled ironwork and handrail at the side of the flight of twenty-seven stairs making ingress and egress rather difficult as shown in the pictures below. The floor level of the machine-gun post is about 4 ft (1.2 M) below the entrance as can be gauged from the internal level of the embrasure.

The armoured doorway of the East Airlock is visible at the bottom of the stairs


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All illustrations and text on this site are 1941-2021 Geoffrey Ellis, or The Friends of HMS Forward, or Nick Catford.