Record Details

NHER Number:25792
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two 'Kings Lynn' coastal defence battery and rare battery observation post


This coastal defence battery is a rare survival in Norfolk, and consists of a magazine, left-hand gunhouse, battery observation post, right-hand gunhouse and a close defence blockhouse. The battery observation post, a tall three-story tower of brick, is thought to be a unique example in Norfolk. This site was known as King's Lynn battery, and was in action between 1940-1943. As the threat of invasion in this area decreased, the guns were moved to Northumberland.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 5901 2411
Map Sheet:TF52SE

Full description

Defensive structures.
Tall three storey tower of brick entered by pointed doorway with lookout on top.
A large rectangular pillbox to each side, and an angled pillbox beyond each of these.
E. Rose (NLA), 13 July 1990.

Photographs and letter in file supplied from enquirer via West Norfolk District Council, from Royal Artillery Trust, show that this was a coastal defensive battery. Grid ref given is further to the east (TF 5892 2413) suggesting that the sheds at latter grid ref were part of this.
Known as King's Lynn battery. In action 1940-1943
E. Rose (NLA), 15 May 1992

The eastern 'angled' pill box at TF 5879 2425 is a unique (type PBX), date 1940. Yellow brick shuttering, unusual shape. Steps up to roof.
Survey No. A1-5. [1].
See record form in file (S3).
D. Walker (NLA), July 1996.

See record form in file by source [1], who adds:
Rare 1940 coastal defence battery stretching from TF 5858 2441 to 5861 2440 along sea bank. Consists of magazine, Left Hand gunhouse, Battery Observation Post, Right Hand gunhouse and close defence blockhouse. The Battery Observation Post is unique in Norfolk.
Survey No. A1-4 (S3).
D. Walker (NLA), July 1996.

January 2003. Norfolk NMP.
This battery was allegedly placed to protect the approach over The Wash. As the threat of a waterborne assault on the area became less likely the guns were subsequently moved to a site in Northumberland in 1942. The above co-ordinates are likely to represent the full extent of the site, and this area appears to have been enclosed by a boundary, presumably of barbed wire. The site consists of two artillery platforms at TF 5897 2412 and TF 5900 2411 (S1) with an observation tower (TF 5898 2410), situated between the two guns and slightly to the south. To the south was a magazine (TF 5892 2410), and two engine rooms at TF 5894 2410 and TF 5899 2409 (S1). On the sea defence bank to each side of the gun emplacements is an inner square structure (TF 5892 2419 and TF 5910 2409) and an outer, smaller rectangular structure (TF 5887 2422 and TF 5917 2406), presumably representing additional observation posts and defences. There is an alleged blockhouse (TF 5904 2404) within the bank to the southwest of the battery, presumably designed to defend the southern approach to the site. This structure is half buried within the side of a bank and is not clearly visible on aerial photographs (S2). Further to the southwest, on the northern side of the approach road (TF 5913 2395) is an L-shaped structure (S1) which may also be a pillbox or defensive point. The barracks for the artillerymen may be situated at Greenland Farm, approximately 400m to the south-east.
M. Brennand (NMP), 13 February 2003.

The guns were removed not as a reaction to the reduction in threat, but because of the realisation that the Wash was too sahllow to allow a target requiring 6" guns to come within range of the battery. (S4)
K Hamilton (HES), 27th January 2014

Monument Types

  • COASTAL BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1427 4072-3 16-APR-1946 (SMR TF 5824A).
<S2>Aerial Photograph: Fairey Surveys Ltd. 1971. FSL/7181 7890 07-SEP-1971.
<S3>Unpublished document: Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey record form.
<S4>Publication: Mike Osborne. 2010. Defending Britain: Twentieth Century Military Structures in the Landscape.

Related records - none

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