Record Details

NHER Number:38949
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two pillboxes and defensive structures

Summary

A group of World War Two pillboxes and defensive structures protecting and blocking the steps down to the beach at Overstrand are visible on aerial photographs. These structures form part of a much wider system of coastal defences and training areas all along the cliffs at Cromer and Overstrand (NHER 38940-1, 38925, 39845, 38947-8).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 24821 41045
Map Sheet:TG24SW
Parish:OVERSTRAND, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

November 2004. Norfolk NMP.
A group of World War Two pillboxes and defensive structures protecting and blocking the steps down to the beach at Overstrand are visible on aerial photograph (S1-7). These structures form part of a much wider system of coastal defences and training areas all along the cliffs at Cromer and Overstrand (NHER 38940-1, 38925, 39845, 38947-8). This group of defences straddle the steps down to the beach and is centred on TG 2481 4105. The paths have been blocked with a variety of large cubes and blocks and barriers, in particular at the end platforms. A row of boats have also been moored up on the path, although it is not clear whether this has been done to further block access.

At the end of the western steps on the beach at TG 2478 4108 is type 22 pillbox, with a possible gun mounting on the top, suggested by a circular hole on the roof (S5). This was built in-between October 1940 and August 1941 (S1-5). Two anti-tank cubes are situated on the beach side of the pillbox and are already present in 1940 (S1). In aerial photographs from 1942-6 the structure it this same location is rectangular (S6-7), measuring 5m by 4m. This would imply that the pillbox was either destroyed or replaced by a different, larger defensive structure between 1941-2. On the opposing end of the eastern path in 1940 is a peculiar tall, polygonal structure, located at approximately TG 2486 4104. This is not visible on any other aerial photographs and the 1940 image is taken from a distance making any accurate identification impossible.

A low hexagonal or possibly circular structure is visible on the oblique aerial photographs from 1941. This is situated within the angled turn of the western path at TG 2481 4104 (S3-5). This structure is partly obscured by surrounding fences and vegetation and therefore cannot clearly be identified, although a central hole is visible in the top. It seems likely that this is the base or holdfast for a gun emplacement. A possible covered and camouflaged rectangular structure is also visible in 1940, set into the cliff above the angled turn of the eastern steps at TG 2487 4099, measuring approximately 5m by 4m. This appears to be sitting on a ledge cut into the cliff next to the steps (S1-2).

On the cliff top, within a triangle of trees, is a circular or penannular concrete gun emplacement or pillbox, situated at TG 2476 4104 (S5). This is 5m in diameter with a possible entrance to the north. This structure is still visible in 1946 (S7), but it has since been demolished either immediately post war or during later coastal development. Also on the top of the cliff to the east is a further possible pillbox is located at TG 2482 4102. This structure can only be seen from a very oblique angle, although it appears to be quite low and approximately 3m across, with a chamfered and stepped top (S3). To the immediate south of this on the green is what appears to be a temporary sandbag construction.

None of these defensive structures appear to survive. The blocks and smaller defences had been removed by 1946 (S7) and the rest have been demolished or destroyed since.
(S1-S7)
S. Massey (NMP), 04 November 2004.

Monument Types

  • ANTI TANK BLOCK (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BEACH DEFENCE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • CUBE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ROADBLOCK (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ROADBLOCK (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • TANK TRAP (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 2440/2 (MSO 31013 2A/BR14/3 3671) 16-AUG-1940.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2440/3 (MSO 31020 26/BR14/12 4906) 19-SEP-1940.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2440/5 (MSO 31255 S378/H50 5) 07-AUG-1941.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2440/7 (MSO 31255 S378/H50 28) 07-AUG-1941.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2441/8 (MSO 31255 S378/H50 29) 07-AUG-1941.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF AC/59 51-2 19-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 4191-2 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 2441A, TG 2541A).

Related records - none

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