Record Details

NHER Number:38921
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two military training and defensive area on Small Hopes Hill

Summary

A World War Two military training and defensive site located on Small Hopes Hill, Overstrand, is visible on aerial photographs. This includes a pillbox (NHER 32568), practice trenches, weapons pits and barbed wire obstructions and several possible structures. The site overlooks the railway line (NHER 13585) and coast to the north.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 23468 40852
Map Sheet:TG24SW
Parish:NORTHREPPS, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
OVERSTRAND, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

October 2004. Norfolk NMP.
A World War Two military training and defensive site located on the Small Hopes Hill, Overstrand, is visible on aerial photographs (S1) to (S4). This includes a pillbox (NHER 32568), practice trenches, weapons pits and barbed wire obstructions and several possible structures. The site overlooks the railway line (NHER 13585) and coast to the north. The site is centred on TG 2346 4085.

Traces of military activity are visible on the edge of the hill in October 1940 (S1), although very little actual features can be discerned due to the obliqueness and grainy quality of photograph. By 1942 a series of slit trenches, following the contour of the hill, and weapons pits are visible centred on TG 2342 4090 (S2). The positioning of these earthworks on the edge of the hill is consistent with those features visible in 1940 (S1). The western edge of the hill has also been partially enclosed by barbed wire in 1942 (S2). Within this barbed wire is a quarried area, which appears to have been incorporated into the military site. By 1946 additional barbed wire defences have been erected (S3) to (S4). These wires run from the back of the pillbox (NHER 32568), round to the northern edge of the hill and then loop around to the east. Short disjointed sections of barbed wire are visible across the southern half of the site and these are likely to be the fragmentary remains of a much wider system, similar to that still surviving to the north. Elements of this barbed wire are still visible in 1955 (S5).

A larger extraction area to the west has a series of three parallel linear features constructed within the quarry entrance at TG 2335 4089. It would appear that the northern two linears are banks or similar features with height and possible trenches to the northern side. The southern linear feature may only consist of a trench, although all three features are hard to distinguish due to shadow within the quarry. It is possible that these trenches were used in training exercises. To the east of this is an oval penannular embankment, centred on TG 2332 4092. In 1942 this has recent pits cut into the interior (S2). This may be a gun emplacement of some sort, although there is no definite evidence for this visible on the aerial photographs. No paths or recent tracks can be seen leading to the feature in any of the photographs, which would suggest that it was not an integral part of the site. It is likely to be an earlier feature, possibly related to extraction.

In April 1946 several sections of slit trench can be seen as overgrown earthworks (S3), including an semi-circular trench linking to terminal pits, centred on TG 2341 4084. Weapons pits are also scattered across the site, most are quite small and narrow, however, to the west of the quarry are two oval weapons pits, both approximately 3m by 2m. To the east of the site are three large oblong and rectilinear pits, centred on TG 2353 4086 and TG 2359 4085, the largest measuring 6.5m by 4m. These are quite overgrown in 1946 and there is it possible that they are unrelated to the military activity, although other obviously World War Two elements are also quite overgrown (S3) to (S4). It is only the slit trenches around the western slope that are still clearly visible as recently excavated ground in 1946 and these are thought to be present in 1940. These trenches may have provided a better strategic position and therefore stayed in use through out the war, rather than being dug of practice and then abandoned.
(S1) to (S5)
S. Massey (NMP), 27 October 2004.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • EXTRACTIVE PIT (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • PIT (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PIT (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)
  • WEAPONS PIT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2341/4 (MSO 31024 26/BR14/17 5302) 15-OCT-1940.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF AC/59 49-50 19-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1430 4175-6 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 4140-1 27-JUN-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 540/1527 (F21) 0017-8 08-FEB-1955 (NMR).

Related records - none

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