Record Details

NHER Number:18356
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two pillbox and spigot mortar emplacement


An extant World War Two pillbox and spigot mortar pedestal are located on the south side of California Road at California. These defences are visible on contemporary and later aerial photographs. They formed part of a larger group of anti invasion defences around California Gap (NHER 27543).

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 5155 1474
Map Sheet:TG51SW

Full description

Pill box, polygonal, concrete.
Traces of former brick cladding.
To east, mortar or machine-gun post
Concrete cracked to reveal iron frame.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU) September 1982.

(S1) in file by source [1], who adds:
Enlarged type 22? Very good condition. See photo in file.
D. Gurney (NLA) 17 November 1996.

26 September 1999.
The spigot mortar base and pillbox remain in good condition. The latter with iron grilles over the loopholes and entrance. The door is not secured, so the interior is accessible and being used as a dump for rubbish.
D. Gurney (NLA), 27 September 1999.

August 2005. Norfolk NMP.
An extant World War Two pillbox and spigot mortar emplacement are visible on contemporary and later aerial photographs (S2-6). The grid reference for these remains has been corrected from TG 5152 1471 to TG 5155 1474. The pillbox is hexagonal in plan and although it has previously been recorded as a possible modified type 22 it appears to be a standard type 24. It is located at TG 51545 14745 on the south side of California Road. It originally occupied a narrow triangle of land between the road and the former railway to the south. Unusually this pillbox faces west with its door on the eastern, and therefore seaward, side. This suggests that it was positioned to defend the Yarmouth peninsula from attack along the railway line, as much as it was to serve a beach defence role. Supporting the pillbox was a spigot mortar emplacement, which was located 15m to its east at TG 51560 14745. This was located at the junction of the road and small track, in the northeast corner of the triangular block of land. Both of these defences were contained within a large barbed wire perimeter that extended around California (NHER 27543). The pillbox, spigot mortar emplacement and the associated barbed wire defences are all first visible on aerial photographs dating to May 1944 (S2). They were not present on aerial photographs from February 1941 (S6) and were constructed at some time between these two dates. The pillbox and spigot mortar pedestal are visible on 2002 aerial photographs on the grass verge adjacent to California Road (S5).
J. Albone (NMP), 2 August 2005

Monument Types

  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SPIGOT MORTAR EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Recording Form: [various]. Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey Recording Form. Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/LA/17 4015-4016 28-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/832 3187 23-SEP-1945 (NHER TG 5113A).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 3036-3037 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 5114C-D).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Environment Agency. 2002. EA 042 AF/02C/339 7058-7059 22-JUL-2002 (EA).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF 268F/BR172 39-41 10-FEB-1941 (NMR).

Related records

27543Part of: World War Two coastal defences (Monument)

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