Sunday, October 15, 2006

Two Weekend Walks, Part I: Bannerhill Camp (Bannerhill and Goodrest Farms)
Saturday, October 14 (approximately 7 miles)

About a mile and a half south of Kenilworth Castle, off Rouncil Lane, stands Goodrest Farm, a nineteenth-century farmhouse constructed near the site of a medieval moated manor house built in 1374 by Thomas Beauchamp (pronounced "Beechum"), the thirteenth earl of Warwick. The house stood near the edge of the large deer park belonging to Warwick Castle, and the earl used it as a hunting lodge. Rouncil Lane marks the boundary, or "pale," of the medieval deer park, which was divided and enclosed by the middle of the eighteenth century.

In 1940, an anti-aircraft battery was located near Kenilworth as part of the anti-aircraft defenses of Coventry and Birmingham. The officers were billetted at Bannerhill Farm, but since that location (on an exposed hill) was unsuitable for the gun placements, the battery itself was located near Goodrest Farm. There were five gun placements for the 3.7 anti-aircraft guns—one of the four surviving gun placements is pictured here. Young women, members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, served as spotters, while regular soldiers manned the guns. There was also a POW camp at Goodrest Farm, with eighty prisoners employed locally on odd jobs.

Link: Oral history of Bannerhill Camp

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