Record Details

NHER Number:32490
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two anti-tank rails, east of Low Road


Rare surviving example of World War Two anti-tank rails, running in a line on Rabbits' Hill. These are made from old railway rails embedded in concrete blocks and formed part of an extensive ring of defences created around the northern outskirts of Norwich in around 1940 (NHER 51893). This defensive line was continued to the west of Low Road by a series of anti-tank blocks (now recorded separately as NHER 64592). A photographic survey undertaken in 2015 demonstrated that the anti-tank rails are still in reasonably good condition.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 19949 11205
Map Sheet:TG11SE

Full description

Twenty four very rare anti tank rails made of old railway rails embedded in concrete blocks.
Survey No. M1-3.
Information from [1]. See (S1) in file.
D. Walker (NLA), July 1996.

NGR corrected.
M. Horlock (NLA), 20 March 2003.

May 2015. Photographic Survey.
Level 1 photographic survey of anti-tank rails within plantation at western edge of golf course. This work was undertaken as part of a detailed walkover survey completed ahead of the proposed redevelopment of the Royal Norwich Golf Club.
It was found that the anti-tank rails are actually at TG 1995 1120, adjacent to the surviving traces of an extensive anti-tank ditch that crossed the golf course on a similar, north-east to south-west alignment (NHER 51893). This is approximately 40m to the north of their previously recorded position.
The twenty-four rails previously recorded are all still present and overall their preservation is good. They run for a distance of c.14m, the line descending a slight slope to the south-west. They are evenly spaced, c.0.4m apart and reach a maximum height of c.2m above ground level at the south-western end of the line. A substantial bank of redeposited natural sand lies against the south-eastern side of the line, towards the centre of which it reaches a height of c.1m and extends back by c.3m. This bank is now eroding through the line of rails and the remnants of shuttering formed from wooden lathes and wire.
See report (S2) for photographs and additional information.
P. Watkins (HES), 29 January 2021.

The mapped location of this record has been corrected to reflect the information from the May 2015 survey. Previously they were recorded as running between TG 1999 1118 and TG 1992 1115 [2]. It should though be noted that this corrected location is actually entirely consistent with the basic sketch location plan on (S1) so it is unclear why they were originally mapped where they were.
P. Watkins (HES), 9 February 2021.

These anti-tank rails formed part of an extensive, continuous ring of defences created around the western, northern and eastern outskirts of Norwich in around 1940 (NHER 51893). The defensive line was continued to the west of Low Road by a series of anti-tank blocks, which are now recorded separately as NHER 64592.
P. Watkins (HES), 9 February 2021.

Monument Types

  • ANTI TANK VERTICAL RAIL (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Recording Form: [various]. Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey Recording Form. Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Craven, J. A. 2015. Royal Norwich Golf Club, Drayton High Road, Hellesdon, Norwich, Norfolk. Archaeological Site Survey and Historic Building Record. Suffolk Archaeology. 2015/025.

Related records

51893Part of: Site of World War Two defensive anti tank ditch around city of Norwich (Monument)

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