Record Details

NHER Number:34192
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two searchlight battery

Summary

The site of a World War Two searchlight emplacement is visible on aerial photographs to the north of Heath Loke, Poringland. Another World War Two searchlight battery is located 180m to the south (NHER 52467) and a third possible site approximately 1.2km to the north (NHER 52468), although the function of this site is uncertain. In 2010 an archaeological evaluation revealed features relating to the World War II searchlight battery including a circular ditch and post-holes.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2645 0241
Map Sheet:TG20SE
Parish:PORINGLAND, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

April 1946. RAF aerial photography.
Photographs (S1) show circular structure with smaller variable structures to the southwest and southeast. Probably a searchlight battery, but not much left to be sure.
B. Cushion (NLA) 12 February 1999.

However (S2) notes dummy spitfires arranged around a field in this area so presumably a decoy airfield otherwise unrecorded.
E. Rose (NLA), 5 February 2007.

The central grid reference for this site has been altered from TG 2647 0242 to TG 2644 0241.

November 2009. Norfolk NMP.
The site of a World War Two searchlight emplacement is visible on aerial photographs alongside ‘The Street’ at Poringland (S3-S4). The site is centred on TG 2644 0241. Another World War Two searchlight battery is located 180m to the south (NHER 52467) and a third possible site approximately 1.5km to the north (NHER 52468), although the function of this site is uncertain. It seems unusual for there to be three possible searchlight sites within 1.5km of one another, especially with two only 180m apart. It must be assumed that these provided additional defence for the nearby Poringland and Stoke Holy Cross radar stations (NHER 14227, 32538) or perhaps protected them from aircraft attack whilst they were in construction. It would appear that this site is replaced by the searchlight emplacement 180m to the south (NHER 52467), as it does not have any operational buildings or signs of relatively recent use, unlike the southern site.
The site consists of a large circular emplacement centred on TG 2646 0244, 20m in total diameter, enclosing a 10m diameter area. A further two substantial emplacements are located to the immediate southwest and these are likely to have housed the site predictor emplacement and a light anti-aircraft gun emplacement. A number of smaller emplacements, weapons pits and small trenches are located around the edges of the site. No sign of huts or operational buildings remain. No evidence for the dummy air field that has been suggested to have existed at this location. It is unlikely that any surface traces of dummy spitfires or similar items would be visible on the aerial photographs by 1946.
S. Horlock (NMP), 04 November 2009.

November 2010. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetometry survey of proposed development area.
A number of magnetic anomalies are visible and appear to correspond with features visible on the 1946 aerial photographs.
See report (S5) and NHER 55314 for further details.
S. Howard (HES), 13 April 2011. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 16 April 2015.

November-December 2010. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation of proposed development area.
Trenches in this area revealed a pit, ditches and post-holes associated with the World War II searchlight battery.
See report (S6) and NHER 55314 for further details.
S. Howard (HES), 1 March 2011. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 16 April 2015.

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMBING DECOY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PRACTICE TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEARCHLIGHT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • TRENCH (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

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Aerial Photograph: NHER TG2603 B.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Decoy mystery. 4 May.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/70 5355-6 28-FEB-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1429 3153-4 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Webb, A. and Harrison, D. 2010. Land South of Stoke Road, Poringland, Norfolk. Geophysical Survey. Archaeological Services WYAS. 2146.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Ames, J. 2011. An Archaeological Evaluation at Land South of Stoke Road and West of The Street, Poringland, Norfolk. NAU Archaeology. 2587.

Related records - none

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