Record Details

NHER Number:34548
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two searchlight battery

Summary

A World War Two searchlight battery is visible on aerial photographs alongside the dunes at Marram Hills and Waxham Road, Sea Palling. The site consists of a large searchlight emplacement and several smaller gun emplacements. A line of pillboxes protects the seaward side of the site and coastline. Several slit trenches have been dug, in particular along existing features such as field boundaries. A group of huts visible within the centre of the site represent the accommodation, equipment and generator houses.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 4371 2674
Map Sheet:TG42NW
Parish:SEA PALLING, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

July 1946. RAF aerial photography shows two circular walled structures resembling searchlight positions, with ancillary structures to southwest.
Height OD. 3 m.
B. Cushion (NLA), 9 June 1999.

THE CENTRAL POINT FOR THE SITE HAS BEEN ALTERED FROM TG 4368 2668 TO TG 4372 2672.

September 2005. Norfolk NMP.
A World War Two searchlight battery is visible on aerial photographs alongside the dunes at Marram Hills and Waxham Road, Sea Palling (S1-S5). The site is centred on TG 4372 2672. The site consists of a large searchlight emplacement and several smaller gun emplacements. A line of pillboxes protects the seaward side of the site and coastline. Several slit trenches have been dug, in particular along existing features such as field boundaries. A group of huts visible within the centre of the site represent the accommodation, equipment and generator houses.

At TG 4371 2671 is a large circular emplacement, measuring 11m in diameter, this would have housed the light. 30m to the south of this is an additional circular emplacement, 9m in across, and this has a central feature or structure. This smaller emplacement may have housed the predictor. The emplacements look like they have a concrete core in 1940 (S1 to S4), however in 1946 only earthen mounds are visible (S5), indicating the site has either become overgrown since site went out of use or that the stonework/concrete has been removed. Although this would probably have meant that the shape of the emplacements would have been lost and therefore would probably have resulted in the levelling of the mounds. To the east and south of the two main emplacements are a series of earthworks indicating further smaller gun emplacements and field works.

To the west is a cluster of rectangular buildings, centred on TG 4365 2669. This would have housed the operational buildings associated with the site, such as the barracks and generator. Additional structures may have existed in the early war years, but due to the obliqueness of the 1940 aerial photographs it is hard to decipher all structures.

On the dunes to the northwest of the site, at TG 4368 2686, is a type 22 pillbox, which is camouflaged with an earthen top in 1940 (S3). This has a small rectangular structure to the immediate east of it. In the corresponding position to the northeast of the site, at TG 4382 2674, is a possible pillbox partially visible sticking out of the dunes (S5). In between these two pillboxes is circular earthwork gun emplacement, 8m diameter, located at TG 4376 2679. To the west of this is another structure located at TG 4373 2683. This has the appearance of a type 24 pillbox, although its dimensions are rather small for such a structure, being 3.5m across. A further possible pillbox was recorded at TG 4377 2670. This was polygonal in shape and measured 3.5m across. To the immediate south of this is a rectangular structure (S4).

A rectangular concrete platform is visible at TG 4380 2668, measuring 18m by 6m (S2). A similar concrete platform is located to the south of the site alongside the field boundary. A series of slit trenches have been cut against the line of the existing field boundary. The small earthwork gun emplacements has also been constructed adjacent to this hedgline. An additional trench has been cut through the dunes to the north, in between the pillbox and northern concrete platform.
S. Massey (NMP), 28 September 2005.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING PLATFORM? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GENERATOR HOUSE? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEARCHLIGHT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. TG42/ TG4326/A.
<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 4326/25 (MSO 31012 2A/BR14/2 3623) 16-AUG-1940.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 4326/26 (MSO 31012 2A/BR14/2 3624) 16-AUG-1940.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 4326/27 (MSO 31012 2A/BR14/2 3625) 16-AUG-1940.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 4326/29 (MSO 31022 26/BR14/1 4840) 19-SEP-1940.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 5100-1 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).

Related records - none

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