Mystery Mound

Manor Road Recreation Ground

Ordnance Survey 1938

Recently Colin Ferrier posted a query on the Community Message-Board, in it he asked about some of the structures on the recreation ground adjacent to Railway Approach.  I’m afraid that I can’t shed any light on what these structures were but have attached an aerial photograph of the area taken around 1960 and a corresponding section of a 1938 O.S. map, in the hope that they will jog someone’s memory

I have copied Colin’s query below:

Apart from the swings and roundabout in the “little rec” behind the prefabs there was, in the middle of the playing field (towards Manor Road) a very large circular mound about a metre high. Has anyone any idea what it was, also behind the prefabs (also in the rec) at the Worthing Road end of Railway Approach there were huge reinforced concrete boulders. What were they doing there?

By Colin Ferrier on 30/06/2012

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  • I lived in Manor Road in the 1950s and spent many happy hours playing on the mound and in the “rec” with my friends. We were always led to believe that the mound was the remains of the old manor house. Not only that, there was also a rumour that there was a tunnel from the manor house to the church on Church Hill that went undeneath our bungalow which was the High Road end of Manor Road.

    By John Rolph (05/01/2014)
  • I lived nearby in Devonshire Road and as a boy in the 1960s the mound in Manor Park was where our bunch of friends often arranged to meet. I always wondered what was underneath. It must have been some time in the late 60s when I was cutting across the park to catch a bus to school that some workmen were digging away at the side of the mound revealing red bricks. I can’t suggest what the structure was but being brick it’s unlikely to have been military.

    By Christopher Fisher (22/04/2013)
  • it is probable that Mary is correct in respect of the large mound being the remains of the old Manor House, but does not mention or explain the huge reinforced concrete blocks. She questions the purpose of pill boxes being placed on roads to nowhere but should remember the Maginot Line which ran the whole length of the French/German frontier mostly over open country, not that it did any good, as the Germans flew airborne troops over it. Also, armies prefer not to use roads if the countryside going is firm giving room for deployment instead of sitting targets for air attacks.

    By W.H.Diment (05/09/2012)
  • Having another think about it, I do remember a mound, as we used to play king of the castle on it!!

    By Mary Cole (nee Norman) (05/09/2012)
  • 1942 I walked with my sister, the length of Worthing Road on the way to Dunton Primary School. This was before the prefabs were built in 1946(?). I remember the ruins of the Manor house, which boys used to climb as their own adventure playground. We were forbidden to go anywhere near this dangerous structure. It was probably a relief to most parents when it was demolished. I do not remember a mound but I suspect it was made up of the left over rubble. 

    I have no memory of a pill box in the area, and with my father an ARP warden I am sure that I would have noticed it. Another question, why on earth would they have built a pill box on a road to nowhere? There were definitely some on the arterial road (127)

    By Mary Cole (nee Norman) (01/09/2012)
  • Referring to Colin Ferrier’s query regarding the reinforced concrete boulders. While I have no knowledge of these. 

    At the beginning of WW2 many such concrete blocks were installed around south east England where pill boxes existed as a deterrent to enemy tanks in the event of an invasion. Whether these fall within that category, I do not know.

    By W.H.Diment (18/07/2012)
  • If my guess in respect of the concrete boulders is correct, is it possible that the large mound covers the remains of a pill box which it was decided easier to bury than dig up. Perhaps one the more active readers could probe this mound to see if it covers a concrete base.

    By W.H.Diment (18/07/2012)

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