Record Details

NHER Number:38918
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible World War Two anti-aircraft battery complex

Summary

The site of a possible World War Two anti-aircraft battery site, consisting of a large gun emplacement, a possible pillbox and several buildings. This defensive site was positioned to the south of the railway cutting (NHER 13585) to the southeast of Cromer Station. The site has since become a plantation called Gurney’s Wood.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 22682 40706
Map Sheet:TG24SW
Parish:NORTHREPPS, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

October 2004. Norfolk NMP.
The site of a possible World War Two light anti-aircraft battery site, consisting of a large gun emplacement, a possible pillbox and remains of several buildings, is visible on aerial photographs (S1) to (S4). This defensive site was positioned to the south of the railway cutting (NHER 13585) to the southeast of Cromer Station. In the 1940’s see site was under grass, but has since become a plantation called Gurney’s Wood, see below for details of potential survival of earthworks.

The site is centred on TG 2268 4070. The main component of the site is an earthwork gun emplacement, located on TG 2265 4068. It consists of a floriform or cloverleaf shaped outer bank, with an entrance to the west. This is 10m across at its widest (S3) to (S4). The interior of the emplacement in the earlier aerial photographs (S1) to (S2) has a quite light appearance, although it not clear whether this is due to disturbed ground or an actual concrete base or gun holdfast. Also in these photographs a possible upright feature may be visible within the return of the encircling bank to the south west of the emplacement, although it is hard to discern due to shadow. This has gone by the later June aerial photographs (S3). It is possible that this may relate to a magazine or similar feature. To the immediate south of the gun emplacement is a well-defined and steep-sided oblong pit, measuring 4.5m by 3m.

To the east of the gun emplacement, alongside a field boundary, is the parchmarks or bases of three small rectangular structures, which must have stood on the site until relatively recently (S1). The largest would have been 10m by 4.5m. A path can be seen cutting though the boundary towards the gun emplacement. These were presumably the operational and accommodation buildings associated with the manning of the gun. A series of three possible weapons pits and trenches are also visible as areas of disturbed and excavated ground to the east, towards the railway cut. A low curving bank appears to link these pits to the line of former structures along the field boundary.

Centred on TG 2267 4072 is a further area of disturbed ground (defined as an extent of area of the NMP map). This is likely to be a cluster of weapons pits or similar small practice features. To the immediate south on the 7th June 1946 aerial photographs is a possible hexagonal structure, approximately 4.5m across (S2). Ostensibly it has the appearance of a type 22 pillbox. Although it hard to distinguish in places from the surrounding vegetation. The structure is not visible in the earlier April 1946 aerial photographs (S1), which could be the result of remaining wartime camouflage. However the structure is not definitely visible on later aerial photographs, taken the same month (S3). A shadow is being cast from the boundary at the correct location, but it cannot definitely be distinguished from that of a tree. Therefore the presence of this pillbox is quite uncertain.

The gun emplacement is still clearly visible as an earthwork in 1952 (S5), by 1955 the initial plantation of the site has taken place (S6) and although it is not as clear, it appears that slight earthworks still survive. Therefore this gun emplacement may survive within the plantation.
(S) to (S-6)
S. Massey (NMP), 27 October 2004.

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (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)
  • PRACTICE TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • WEAPONS PIT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1430 4174-5 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 4188-9 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 2241B, TG 2341A).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 4142-3 27-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 2140B, TG 2240A).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1910 3018-9 27-DEC-1946 (NMR) RAF CPE/UK/1910 3018-9 27-DEC-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/690 5210-1 11-MAR-1952 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 540/1527 (F21) 0020-1 08-FEB-1955 (NMR).

Related records - none

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