Record Details

NHER Number:23518
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two military installation at Holme Dunes

Summary

The World War Two military installation at Holme Dunes can be clearly seen on a variety of aerial photographs, including RAF 1945 and 1955 images and obliques taken for the NMR in 2000. The installation comprised a series of trenches and banks that radiated in straight lines from the group of buildings, including a concrete blockhouse and an underground headquarters (NHER 51015). Many of these features survive. Other structures and features were built into the banks and trenches, including a number of bunkers (NHER 23517, 32533, 51013 and 51014).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 7074 4463
Map Sheet:TF74SW
Parish:HOLME NEXT THE SEA, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

THE STRUCTURES DESCRIBED BELOW ARE NO LONGER RECORDED AS PART OF NHER 23518. THEY ARE ARE NOW RECORDED AS NHER 51015, 51016, 51017 and 51018.

Defensive structure.
Group consisting of large concrete blockhouse; adjoining red brick building; to northeast underground dugout with entrance formed of trench open at each end but covered in concrete at centre above door; and another dugout with door in each of end walls. This group is at the junction of three large trenches with stepped sides, now overgrown in the dunes.
HER 23517 dugouts are within one end of a trench. These trenches are shown on the official map of the nature reserve but not explained. Are they defensive or natural features?
The Warden's house, which is certainly pre World War Two, seems to interrupt one trench.
E. Rose (NAU), 30 April 1987.

See (S1) - grid reference wrongly given.

For 'shelter to northeast' see record form (S2) in file.
D. Walker (NLA), July 1996.

See also record form (S2) in file for main building by source [1] who adds unidentified, unusual concrete blockhouse - purpose unknown. Similar to structure at Titchwell. Linked to brick and concrete building with windows, winch and blast-wall by rear wall.
D. Walker (NLA), July 1996.

RAF vertical air photograph of 1946, discovered by B. Cushion (NLA), shows clearly that the trenches are artificial features. They radiate from the group of pillboxes etc and are straight, apparently with walls along the sides or some similar feature. One runs east, incorporating the wardens house, to the creek; one runs southwest, within which is NHER 23517, and one runs southsouthwest including bunker NHER 32533 and ending at the approach road.
Further south is a long concrete road with several 'parking bays' turning circles etc. Between the two western arms of the trench is a butterfly-shaped enclosure. These presumably all fulfilled some defensive function.
E. Rose (NLA), 12 June 1998.

26 May 1999. NLA air photography.
Military structures visible on photographs of Holme coastline.
Group of pillboxes, and three trenches running off from these can be seen.
S. Massey (NLA), 26 March 2001.

19 June 1995. NLA air photography.
Earthworks/structures visible - line of the ditches/trenches very clear.
H. Clare (NLA), 18 April 2001.

August 2002. Norfolk NMP.
(NGR amended from original TF 7109 4493).
The World War II military installation at Holme next the Sea can be clearly seen on a variety of aerial photographs. These include RAF 1945 and 1955 images (S4)-(S4), and more recent obliques taken for the NMR in 2000 (S5). These features were mapped for the NMP project by Abby Hunt/Andy Miller of Suffolk County Council, as part of the Norfolk and Suffolk Rapid Coastal assessment (from October 1999). However no record form was previously completed so the aerial photographs used are uncertain. However, it seems likely that those images listed here provide a representative sample.
A series of trenches and banks radiate in straight lines from the group of buildings/structures at TF7117 4496. One trench and bank combination runs east. The trench is adjacent to and on the north side of a bank, which runs alongside it. These run from the buildings at TF 7117 4496 to TF7168 4494 and just to the south of the bank at its eastern end another building is located (at NGR TF7165 4492). Also about two thirds of the way along the bank there is a cut through/ditch dividing it in two. This is situated at TF 7165 4494, just to the northeast of the house called ‘the Firs'. The next trench and bank run southwest from TF 7117 4496 to TF 7076 4458, again these lie adjacent to each other. Within this trench the underground ‘dugout’/pillbox of NHER 23517 is located (this is not visible on the aerial photographs). Also from near to the buildings at TF 7117 4496 a complex of banks can be seen. The first and longest of these runs from the buildings already mentioned to TF 7078 4485 (westsouthwest) and there is a possibility that a ditch/trench lies along its northern edge. Just to the south of this bank (between it and the previously described trench and bank) a series of about ten shorter banks, all slightly curved at the ends, can be seen. These are centred on TF 7086 4479 and cover an area of about 130m by 350 (forming a shape like a figure of 8 squashed from the top). The final trench complex lies to the southwest of the features so far described. It runs from TF7069 4462 (the edge of the previous series of banks) to TF 7030 4431 ending at the approach road (the southern most and western most point of the military area). The bunker of NHER 32533 (again not visible on aerial photographs) is located within the north eastern end of this trench. Leading off to the east, from about halfway along the trench, there appears to be some form of concrete road/track with several areas of hard standing coming off from it. It runs between TF 7045 4443 and TF 7148 4453.
H. Clare (NMP), 16 September 2002.

October 2007. Field visit.
The buildings described as 'large concrete blockhouse; adjoining red brick building', 'main building' and 'group of buildings/structures at TF 7117 4496' above are now recorded as NHER 51015.
The building described as 'underground dugout with entrance formed of trench open at each end but covered in concrete at centre above door' above is now recorded as NHER 51017.
The building described as 'another dugout with door in each of end walls' and 'shelter to northeast' above is now recorded as NHER 51016.
The building described as 'another building… (at NGR TF7165 4492)' above is now recorded as NHER 51018.
D. Robertson (NLA) 25 October 2007.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BLOCKHOUSE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • DITCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • UNDERGROUND MILITARY HEADQUARTERS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RAF. RAF 106G UK 1571 3005.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF 7144B - E; TF 7245A.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1999. TF 7145R, S, AA - AC, AN, AT - AY.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Article in Serial: Losson, E.. 1990. NW Norfolk Coastal defences.. NIAS Journal. Vol 4, No 5, p 192. p 192.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey record form.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/476 4008-9 06-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 82/1277 (F21) 0142 23-AUG-1955 (NMR).
<S5>Aerial Photograph: NMR. 2000. NMR TF7145/12 (NMR 21053/13) 13-NOV-2000.

Related records

51018Parent of: Probable World War Two building. (Building)
51015Parent of: World War Two blockhouse and building (Building)
51014Parent of: World War Two bunker or shelter (Building)
51017Parent of: World War Two bunker or shelter (Building)
23517Parent of: World War Two bunker or shelter (Monument)
51016Parent of: World War Two pillbox in Holme Dunes (Building)
51013Parent of: World War Two shelter in Holme Dunes (Building)
32533Parent of: World War Two underground shelter or bunker in Holme Dunes (Monument)
26747Related to: Probable World War Two bank and structures (Monument)

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