Aircraft Museum

The East Essex Aviation Society and Museum has been housed in the historic Martello Tower at Point Clear since it opened in the summer of 1986. The Tower is one of the first built in 1805 to repel a Napoleonic invasion expected from France which never materialised.
It is also one of the few Martello Towers still open to the public along the Essex coast.
The East Essex Aviation Society was formed in 1985 when interest grew locally in the recovery of a crashed American P51 Mustang of the U.S. 479th Fighter Group that was forced to ditch into the sea off the coast of Clacton on the 13th January 1945, when the pilot Raymond E. King, died after being rescued from the sea.

The Tower was an ideal place to store and preserve the wreckage after it was retrieved from the sea. The remains of this aircraft now takes pride of place along with a memorial display to the pilot, but in addition to this the Museum also houses a large collection of displays covering the major conflicts of this century.

On the ground floor are many items recovered from local aircraft crash sites, several displays, an extensive model collection and ‘Fred’s Workshop’ where recovered artefacts are cleaned and treated to preserve them from decay.
The oldest artefact in our collection is displayed downstairs. It is a Mammoth bone over 10,000 years old!!

On the first floor is displayed a wide range of memorabilia that has been lent or given to the Museum or is part of our members personal collections. These displays contain uniforms, equipment and memorabilia from the 1914 – 1918 World War. Also from the 1939 – 1945 war Army, Navy and American Forces, The 479th Fighter Group, the Home front, Civil Defence and Observation Corps, R.A.F., A.T.S., and German memorabilia, and much more.


On the roof there are more displays including a large aircraft wheel, and a propeller. The view from the top of the Tower looks towards Colchester 14 miles away, to Mersea I
sland across the river Colne and nearby to the historic Cinque Port of Brightlingsea.
Free Car parking is at the Ferryboat Inn, next door, where food and drink are available.

Opening times throughout the year:
Monday 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From April to October
on Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition from June to September
on Wednesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Extra opening on Bank Holidays.
We are pleased to open the museum for
groups of a reasonable size at other times.

For more Information E-mail

Last updated M.J.T.


Martello Towers on the east coast were numbered with letters and on the south coast with numbers. The Aircraft Museum is Tower ‘A’ and a second tower in St Osyth was Martello Tower ‘B’ on Beacon Heights. This tower was demolished in the middle 1970’s. It had been owned by Mr Hyde who was a keen amateur astronomer and it was through this interest that he became a pioneer in Radio Astronomy with the tower roof housing a number of radio detection aerials to pick up signals from space.

He was one of the first to pick up the signal from the Russian Sputnik the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite launched on 4 October 1957.
Following this success he formed a minor partner collaboration with Sir Bernard Lovell who was in charge of the world first steerable dish radio telescope (now know as the Lovell telescope), which was 250 ft in diameter, when it was completed in 1957.

Mr Hyde’s equipment was amateur but most suitable to form a electronic base line, over two hundred miles long, that was helpful in the study and observation of many radio frequency transmissions from space before the discovery of pulsars and quasars , words which at the time were strange, but today every schoolboy knows well.


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