Record Details

NHER Number:26780
Type of record:Monument
Name:Titchwell AFV Range

Summary

A World War Two Armoured Fighting Vehicle practice range, visible as a complex series of linear earthworks and concrete structures on 1946 RAF and 1969 Hunting Survey vertical images.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 7525 4458
Map Sheet:TF74SE
Parish:TITCHWELL, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

February 2001. NMP.
A pair of banks and ditches, with associated ditches radiating out from the ends of them are visible as earthworks at TF 7544 on 1945 APs (S1). Structures associated with these features are also visible, as area a number of small mounds. The features seem to make up a military training site, which would have been used for firing practice. The main features of which were a target on rails, which would have run E-W along the rails with the bank in place to protect the rails from direct hits. The structures located at the ends of the banks are blockhouses, which would have housed the mechanics to power the trains carrying the targets. The ditches radiating out from the ends of the banks would have also been used to run targets along to provide practice in shooting targets approaching from different angles and on rougher terrain. The mounds at the ends of these associated ditches would also have housed mechanisms to winch the targets along. A bank feature at TF 7511 4488 may represent the remains of a large bunker (NHER 32409).
Probably associated with NHER 26780
A. Hunt (NMP), 6 February 2001.

April 2002. Norfolk NMP.
This was Titchwell AFV (armored fighting vehicle) range, used for tank gunnery practice (S3 and S4). It was one of the last Command AFV ranges to close in 1945, after it had been kept on to retrain troops for operations in the far east (Adrian James pers. Comm.). One of the target runs appears to cut through a World war II minefield (S3), which is unlikely to have been cleared before June 1944, also suggesting later war period use.
The military retained ownership of land within this area, and had a bombing range operating to the immediate west during the 1950s.
M. Brennand (NMP), 29 April 2002.

March 2006.
Exposed on the beach at TF 75477 44952 (GPS), immediately adjacent to the remains of two tanks (NHER 43974).
Two concrete slabs, one mostly buried but the other measuring c. 2m x 3m with two circular impressions on its surface (possible gun emplacement).
D. Gurney (NLA), 22 March 2006.

2009.
Archaeological work in advance of a development to realign the sea defences found an isolated prehistoric cremation and an associated pit, suggesting Neolithic activity in the surrounding area. A possible prehistoric ditch and others of post-medieval date were found, along with sea defence banks containing post-medieval elements. A World War II Armoured Fighting Vehicle Training Range and training site were also recorded.
See (S5).
D. Holburn (HES), 19 September 2011.

Monument Types

  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK 369 Frms 4186-4188 8-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1950. RAF 541/442 Frm 4003 28-FEB-1950 (NMR).
<S3>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 3011 07-JUN-1946 (SMR TF 7444A).
<S4>Aerial Photograph: Hunting Surveys Ltd. 1969. HSL UK/69/949 0063 20-SEP-1969 (SMR TF 7444B).
<S5>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Hoggett, R. 2010. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2009. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLVI Pt I pp 135-147. p 145.

Related records

43974Parent of: Remains of two World War Two armoured vehicles, Titchwell Marsh (Monument)
26789Related to: World War Two military training site (Monument)

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