Record Details

NHER Number:49405
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two defences at Acle Bridge


The Forward Defended Locality of Wey Bridge (as Acle Bridge was then known) was protected during World War Two by a cluster of defences, including pillboxes, spigot mortar emplacements and barbed wire. The site lay on II Corps Demolition Line FII, which ran from Aylsham to Great Yarmouth, and until the bridge was replaced in the 1990s demolition chambers were visible on its underside. Some of the World War Two defences are visible on aerial photographs, while others are known from documentary research, local knowledge and/or fieldwork. Individual elements have previously been recorded as NHER 39237, 39238, 39234, 20595, 39232 and 36662, and as part of NHER 8601.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4143 1162
Map Sheet:TG41SW

Full description

Spigot mortar emplacement located at [1].
The World War Two remains around Acle constitute a system of national importance.
See (S7).
D. Gurney (NLA), 27 December 2001.

May 2007. Norfolk NMP.
World War Two defences, including a pillbox, spigot mortar emplacements and barbed wire, are visible as extant structures and earthworks on aerial photographs (S1)-(S5), centred at TG 4145 1163. These defended the Forward Defended Locality of Acle Bridge, or Wey Bridge as it was then known. Some of the defences, a few of which still survive, have previously been recorded as NHER 39237, 39238, 39234, 20595, 39232 and 36662, and as part of NHER 8601. Many of these, and others, have also been recorded as part of the Defence Areas Project (see (S6)). Some, such as the demolition chambers on the underside of the bridge, could not be expected to be visible on aerial photographs. The apparent absence of other, more substantial elements may reflect the relative paucity of 1940s aerial photographs, and in particular the unavailability of low-level photography from this period. At the same time, there is a risk that multiple references to single elements may have been misinterpreted as representing several different defences due to changes in terminology and/or inaccurate grid references.

The defences mapped by the NMP comprise the following elements. To the northeast of the bridge (at TG 4150 1173) was a hexagonal pillbox, probably a Type 24. Whether this equates to NHER 39238 or 39234, or both, is not clear. Approximately 25m to its south a small hut is visible. This could be the infantry post recorded as NHER 39237, or could be merely a civilian building (the infantry post might instead equate to the pillbox). Two lines of what may have been barbed wire (or the mark left by its removal) are also visible (see too NHER 39238). To the southwest of the bridge, two spigot mortar emplacements have been recorded previously, NHER 36662 and 39232. Only the first of these is visible on the aerial photographs, as a concrete pedestal surrounded by an earthwork bank at TG 4130 1165. To the southeast of the bridge, two further spigot mortar emplacements are visible, equating to those previously recorded as NHER 20595 and as part of NHER 8601. A possible line of barbed wire is also visible; aerial photographs taken in 1944 may show more barbed wire in this area, but it is indistinguishable from hedges and drainage ditches.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 18 May 2007.

Monument Types

  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • DEFENDED LOCALITY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • INFANTRY POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (TYPE FW3/24) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SPIGOT MORTAR EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Great Yarmouth Mercury. 2002. Acle-A place of most resistance. 1 November.
<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC277 5021-2 18-APR-1944 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/70 5008-9 28-FEB-1946 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 5020-1 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Swain, G.. n.d.. NHER TG 4111K (Swain 1A/19) n.d..
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1962. RAF 58/5140 (F63) 0081-2 23-MAY-1962 (NMR).
<S6>*Digital Archive: Foot, W.. 2004?. Defence Area 15 (Acle) IN Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England.
<S7>Unpublished Document: Council for British Archaeology. 2001. Defence of Britain Project: Acle (Defence Area 3)..

Related records

39232Parent of: Site of World War Two spigot mortar (Monument)
39237Parent of: World War Two infantry post (Monument)
39234Parent of: World War Two pillbox (Monument)
39238Parent of: World War Two pillbox and barbed wire (Monument)
20595Parent of: World War Two spigot mortar emplacement (Monument)
36662Parent of: World War Two spigot mortar emplacement (Monument)

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