Record Details

NHER Number:27524
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of early 20th century industry and World War Two military camp


In the early 20th century there were sand pits and a railway siding at this site, but by 1940 these were disused. During World War Two the area was used by the military and they constructed pillboxes, slit trenches, weapons pits, a railway, spigot mortar emplacments and barbed wire obstructions. These military features are visible on aerial photographs taken between 1940 and 1945. They had all disappeared by 1988.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 52186 13744
Map Sheet:TG51SW

Full description

July 2005. Norfolk NMP.
World War Two coastal defences are visible on contemporary and later aerial photographs (S1 to S5). These defences, which included pillboxes, slit trenches and barbed wire were centred on TG 5219 1374.

The earliest aerial photographs of this site show that military activity was established by August 1940 (S1 to S3). A sinuous slit trench extended for approximately 70m between TG 5223 1364 and TG 5227 1359. This trench cut across a disused former railway siding. At the southern end of the slit trench was a hexagonal pillbox, probably a standard type 22. It was located at TG 52265 13585 on a corner of the sea wall and was protected by barbed wire on its southeastern side. This pillbox was camouflaged as a small square building (S3). Further barbed wire was present along the sea wall to the north of the pillbox and to the west of some concrete building bases (see below). Two weapons pits were also present by August 1940 at TG 5222 1365.

By December 1940 most of the slit trench had been backfilled (S4). A structure or building of uncertain function had been constructed at TG 5223 1367 by this date. There were only two minor additions to the site by February 1941 (S5). A C shaped slit trench had been excavated at TG 5225 1370 and a spigot mortar emplacement had been constructed on the west side of the railway line at TG 5220 1364.

Significant changes had occurred at the site by 1944 (S6 to S7). Two type 24 pillboxes had been constructed at the site. One was located on the sea wall at TG 52245 13765 and faced northeast. The second of these was positioned on the west side of the railway line at TG 52180 13730 and faced northwest. It was protected on it western side by a curved perimeter of barbed wire. To the east of the railway line, the building at TG 5223 1367 had been demolished. A new railway siding had been constructed parallel to the earlier disused one. This new railway siding cut across the concrete building bases discussed below. Two spigot mortar emplacements and three small concrete structures had been placed to the east of the railway siding around TG 5224 1363. Additional slit trenches were excavated at TG 5213 1372, TG 5225 1371 and TG 5224 1377 by September 1945 (S8). Housing development and realignment of the sea wall had destroyed all World War Two remains at the site by 1988 (S9).

The military activity at this site is likely to be related to the occupation of the adjacent holiday site of Caister Camp (NHER 27478 and 40816). Further coastal anti invasion defences are present to the south (NHER 27516) and north (NHER 27525) of this site.

The site appears to have had a pre war industrial use and sand pits are shown there on the second edition 6 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map of 1907 (S10) with a railway siding entering the area from the north. Three large concrete bases, apparently for buildings, were present at the site by August 1940 (S1 to S3). The largest of these measured 35m by 23m. No buildings are shown at this location on the 1938 edition 6 inch Ordnance Survey map (S11) and it is possible that they were under construction at the start of the war but were abandoned before completion. The bases were located alongside another railway siding that entered the site from the south. This railway siding was marked on the 1938 map but was disused and cut by a slit trench in August 1940. By 1944 a new railway siding had been constructed across these bases (S6 to S7).
J. Albone (NMP), 29 July 2005.

Monument Types

  • RAILWAY (18th Century to World War Two - 1800 AD to 1940 AD)
  • INDUSTRIAL SITE (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • SAND PIT (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (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)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • RAILWAY SIDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SPIGOT MORTAR EMPLACEMENT (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 5113/10 (MSO 31014 2A/BR14/4 3586) 16-AUG-1940.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 5113/11 (MSO 31014 2A/BR14/4 3587) 16-AUG-1940.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 2A/BR190 41-42 18-AUG-1940 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 268A/BR183 5-6 17-DEC-1940 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF 268F/BR172 37-38 10-FEB-1941 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/LA/17 3017 28-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/LA/27 3072-3073 05-AUG-1944 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/832 3185-3186 23-SEP-1945 (NHER TG 5112B / TG 5113B).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 0836-0837 11-AUG-1988 (NCC 3929-30).
<S10>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1906 - 1907. Ordnance Survey second edition 6" (1906-1907) Sheet LXVI.SE.
<S11>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1938. Ordnance Survey 1938 edition 6" Sheet LXVI.SE.

Related records - none

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