Beginning at the anti-submarine boom we walk along Shoebury East beach pointing out points of interest in the estuary (including the Maunsell Forts, SS Richard Montgomery and Mulberry Harbour).
We enter Gunners Park and explore the iconic buildings of the former Garrison (such as the Garrison Church, Clocktower/parade ground and hospital) before viewing the blast walls and storage units.
We segway back in time to an Iron Age settlement (Danish Camp) used by the Royal Artillery as a blast wall and explore the standing structures and understand their role, function and context.
We follow the path to the man-made lake and end at the barge pier that was home to the iconic Poppies: Wave exhibition in 2016.
I’m between we explore the sites role in protecting England from french invasion, why the site developed in the mid-1800s, it’s role in both WWI and WWII, as well as touch on the Cold War!
Come and experience Gunners Park’s history and heritage with Chris in this fun and engaging walking tour.
Beginning at the Cliffs Pavilion we start our walking tour by looking at the battle of the Thames Estuary and how this very spot was part of the anti-aircraft measures to defend London.
We then uncover the incredible story of a Cromwellian shipwreck that lies a mile off Southend pier!
Following the picturesque promenade we pay our respects at the War Memorial which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens (who famously designed the Cenotaph at Whitehall) and cover some cases from Southend’s WWI roll of honour.
Continuing along we take a pit stop along the cliffs and study how Southend defended itself during both WWI and WWII; including zeppelin and gotha air raids, as well as the Luftwaffe and V1 and V2 rocket attacks!
We pass the beautiful Royal Terrace and uncover a fascinating tale involving Lord Horatio Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton (with a special link to the Crimean War).
We end our tour outside the magnificent Palace Hotel where we learn about its use in WWI as a Red Cross hospital, as well as a darker aspect of the pier involving German prisoners of war!
This is a walking tour with a couple of stopping points, however, accessibility issues should be considered.
Parking nearby the Cliffs Pavilion can be found. Fees vary.
Recommended age: 14+
In this walking tour we begin at the Gasworks Jetty on Southend Seafront and study the WWII coastal defences that were to protect the town in case of a German invasion. We also cover the defence of the area during the Battle of Britain.
We then pass through the beautiful Southchurch Park where we talk about the history of Southchurch from its beginnings as an Anglo-Saxon settlement to a medieval manor and parish.
Walking along Lifstan Way we uncover the incredible story of Heinkel He 111H-3 (A1+IL) which crashed on this road on 30th August 1940!
We end our tour in the peaceful churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Southchurch, where we learn about one of the four parish churches of historical Southend, and conclude our tour nearby a micropub!