The editor of ANTIQUITY remembers travelling, as a child, on the main A1 highway to see relatives in southeast England, watching the banks of sharp-nosed Bloodhound missiles ranged close by the road – pointing east, to meet incoming Soviet bombers. The obsolete monuments of the Cold War, and before that of the Second World War, are history now, famously the Berlin Wall (Baker 1993 in ANTIQUITY). Many, like the concrete runways of the airfields, are so solidly built they are not lightly removed. These remains of England's 20th-century defence heritage are not well understood. However, and contrary to popular belief, they do have a large documentation; and it is this, the authors argue, that should form the basis for systematic review.