Record Details

NHER Number:32566
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cromer Coastal Battery

Summary

The Cromer Emergency Coastal Battery site was constructed 1940 and closed in 1944. Very little of the original structures and gun houses remain, although the former extent of the site has been mapped using evidence taken from wartime aerial photographs. The coastal battery consisted of two large gun houses and associated sub-surface structures. Searchlights were positioned on the cliffs to the north. It is likely that further military structures remain unidentified and recorded within the Warren Woods and obscured by the tree belts surrounding the houses.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2268 4193
Map Sheet:TG24SW
Parish:CROMER, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Coastal battery, built 1940, closed 1944.
Raised hump in garden of 'Cliffnook' now only remains.
Seachlights were below on lower promenade.
Large building, probably engine house for lights is situated in garden of bungalow in The Warren (TG 2262 4191).
Survey No. D3-25.
See (S1).
D. Walker (NLA) July 1996.

September 2004.
Mound in garden of Cliffnook grassed over with some flowerbeds on sides.
Varies from 1.5m to 2m above garden due to irregular ground; about 4m wide north to south; length not ascertained as it passes under hedge into neighbouring property to east.
No obvious entrance.
Householders knew nothing of its history.
Engine house at 12 The Warren is a large building of Whittlesea brick with corrugated iron and concrete roof, original blast door, but now extended to form garage.
Was left at request of owner when army demolished remainder in 1944.
Site of guns is now a triangular public green.
E. Rose (NLA), 3 September 2004.

The area of the site has been extended and therefore for the central point has been altered from TG 2259 4195 to TG 2269 4192.

December 2004. Norfolk NMP.
The Cromer Emergency Coastal Battery site was constructed 1940 and closed in 1944. Very little of the original structures and gun houses remain, although the former extent of the site has been mapped using evidence taken from wartime aerial photographs (S2 to S8). The coastal battery consisted of two large gun houses and associated sub-surface structures. Searchlights were positioned on the cliffs to the north. It is likely that further military structures remain unidentified and recorded within the Warren Woods and obscured by the tree belts surrounding the houses. The site is centred on TG 2269 4192.

The Coastal Battery was fitted with 6 inch naval guns in large gun houses, up to 11m across. The eastern gun emplacement was located at TG 2259 4197 and appears to be constructed abutting the corner house on Cliff Drive (S2 to S8). To the immediate east of this is a wedge shaped earthen mound, which may be covering sub-surface structures or access to the gun emplacement. A small rectangular structure, 3m by 1.5m, is located to the south. A further structure, 3m square, was positioned to the immediate west of the house. The second 6-inch gun emplacement was located to the east at TG 2264 4195. To the south of this gun is a large, low and sloping earthen mound, measuring up to 26m across. On the surface of the mound a series of parched outlines are visible, which trace the internal structures and interconnecting passages behind the gun emplacement. To the immediate south west of this mound at TG 2261 4195, is a possible square concrete structure, surrounded by an earthen bank. This structure appears to abut another house on Cliff Drive. The relationship between components of the site and the houses on the eastern end of Cliff Drive would suggest that the houses themselves had been quite heavily incorporated into the operation of the battery.

The searchlights for battery are situated half way down the cliff face at TG 2256 4201 and TG 2272 4195. Both measure approximately 6m by 4.5m and have a chamfered front face, which appears to have been camouflaged by netting on the oblique aerial photographs (S4 to S5). Each searchlight has a small rectangular structure positioned nearby. It is possible that these represent the generator for the lights.

In front of Warren Woods at TG 2268 4190 is a tall structure, which appears to have been constructed in-between August 1941 and June 1942 (S2 to S7)). In 1942 the structure is camouflaged, although it can be distinguished from the surrounding low mound, by its greater height. It appears to have a rectangular plan, measuring 13m by 8.5m. However in 1946 and on later post-war aerial photographs the structure has is clearly 6m square (S8). It seems unlikely that the structure has been demolished and another constructed in its place in-between 1942 to 1946. One explanation would be that the earlier rectangular shape is a product of netting being draped over the structure, attempting to merge the profile with that of the woods to the south, therefore elongating the shape. The structure appears to be surrounded by an earthen mound. A further, low mound may surround this to the north and east, although this may be an optical illusion created by multiple structures being dug into the natural ground surface. Small roofed structures and concrete elements are visible projecting out of the ground on oblique aerial photographs and verticals from 1941, the clearest being at TG 2268 4191 and TG 2268 4192 (S2 to S6). A further structure or emplacement has been dug into the surface at TG 2271 4190, surrounded by a narrow U shaped bank. To the east of this are several stretches of barbed wire, running across the cliff top towards Stony Hill. On the cliff edge in 1942 is a possible gun emplacement at TG 2277 4189. The structure cannot be seen perfectly due to the quality of the photograph, but it appears to be an L shaped concrete wall with a taller, possibly square structure behind (S7).

The engine house located at TG 2262 4191, which measures 6m across, was camouflaged during the 1942 (S3). The structure is only visible on one aerial photograph from 1988 (S9). Two further possible structures may be camouflaged in 1941 within the trees to the north of the engine house and to the east by Stony Hill, at TG 2265 4192 and TG 2274 4187. Although, as only discrete clumps of vegetation projecting out of the tree line are actually visible, no actual features have been mapped.

To the west of the site, centred on TG 2257 4198, are a further pair of possible camouflaged defences either side of the cliff path. The southern feature is visible as a 'vegetational' clump with a smooth and conical profile on the oblique aerial photographs from 1941 (S3 to S5). The mound to the north of the path, appears to have a central projection and appears as a lighter feature on the vertical aerial photographs from 1942 (S7).

The possible underground bunker referred to above, originally thought to be an underground control house for the battery, located in the front garden of 17 Cliff Drive, has since been proved by excavation to be of non-military and non-archaeological origin. Details of this investigation are recorded under NHER 41143. This feature was not visible on any of aerial photographs. A similar mound in the garden of number 11 Cliff Drive has been interpreted as being post-war in date, see NHER 27257 for details.
S. Massey (NMP), 29 December 2004.

Monument Types

  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COAST ARTILLERY SEARCHLIGHT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COASTAL BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COASTAL BATTERY COMMAND POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COMMAND POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • EMERGENCY COAST DEFENCE BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ENGINE HOUSE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GENERATOR HOUSE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (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)
  • UNDERGROUND MILITARY HEADQUARTERS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • UNDERGROUND STRUCTURE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. [Articles on the proposal to add an extension to the Coastguard Lookout and the diversion of a footpath].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: 1995. Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF S/378 85-6 07-AUG-1941 (NMR).
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2241/8 (MSO 31255 S378/H50 16) 07-AUG-1941.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2241/10 (MSO 31255 S378/H50 40) 07-AUG-1941.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2242/11 (MSO 31255 S378/H50 41) 07-AUG-1941.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. NMR TG 2241/11 (MSO 31254 S449/H52 3) 28-AUG-1941.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF AC/59 47-8 19-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 4187-8 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 2241A-B).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 8370-1 27-MAY-1988 (NCC 0919-20).

Related records

41143Parent of: Reputed site of World War Two bunker at Cliff Nook (Monument)
38912Parent of: World War Two defences (Monument)

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