Record Details

NHER Number:39118
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two military complex


A complex of World War Two military buildings and structures is visible on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s and 1950s. It included concrete buildings (some with blast walls), huts, at least one pillbox, a large weapons pit or similar earthwork, and barbed wire obstructions. The complex may have been associated with a military site (NHER 38970) located to the northwest. Part of the site has been lost to cliff erosion and the rest is now a caravan park.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2948 3805
Map Sheet:TG23NE

Full description

December 2004. Norfolk NMP.
A group of World War Two military structures and other features are visible as extant buildings, structures and earthworks on aerial photographs (S1), centred at TG 2947 3804. The exact function of the site is not known, but given the size of the site and the multiple buildings that are visible, its role as some kind of camp or command post serving the surrounding area seems likely.

Little is visible at the site prior to 1946. By July 1941 (S2), some of the barbed wire which protected the northern and eastern sides of the site had been laid out. The area is partially visible on an aerial photograph taken in 1942 (S3), but the buildings cannot be seen and presumably were constructed after this photograph was taken but before June 1946.

By 1946 various buildings are visible. They include a hexagonal pillbox at TG 2952 3806; this is almost certainly the same structure as the pillbox recorded at TG 2970 3798 (NHER 15383). The latter was a Type 22 pillbox with a mounting for a light anti aircraft gun on its roof, comparable to NHER 15115 to the south; it was visited on the ground in 1979. The pillbox that forms part of the site described here was still extant at this date. What may be a mounting on the roof is visible on the clearest photographs of the structure, taken in 1952 (S4). To the east of the pillbox is a large pit, possibly a large weapons pit or the pit of a gun emplacement. To the southwest are two structures which were being demolished by June 1946 (S1), and consequently, for the most part, only their outline is visible. The southernmost part of the southern structure consists of a blast wall surrounding a small, concrete building. To the southwest, two curved profile huts, probably Nissen huts, are visible standing on concrete pads, together with part of another small structure. To the east is a small circular or polygonal structure, perhaps camouflaged, which may be a second pillbox. To the west are a cluster of buildings and structures, one of which is relatively substantial and has a blast wall on its north side. To the north of these (to the west and north of Trimingham House) are further concrete buildings, some of which are visible on an oblique aerial photograph of the site (S5). The tower on the east end of the building at TG 2942 3805 suggests that it is an observation post. The curved profile hut at TG 2944 3806 has a concrete structure at its southern end.

The complex is located in the grounds of Trimingham House, which was perhaps requisitioned, and forms part of an extensive network of World War Two defences ranged along this stretch of coastline. Although it appears to have been established at a later date in the war, the site might be associated with the military site (NHER 38970) situated immediately to its northwest.

Modern maps (for example, S6) indicate that the northern edge of the site has now been lost to coastal erosion. The pillbox at TG 2952 3806 is still visible as an extant building on photographs taken in 1984 but not on those taken in 1988. Trimingham House and any remaining military structures have been demolished and the site is now occupied by a caravan park.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 20 December 2004.

May-November 2004. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey.
Ruins observed on the face of the cliff during the Inter-tidal survey (Environmental Zone 17, Context 515, NHER 41582) are likely to be the remains of the pillbox described above (which is almost certainly also the structure recorded as NHER 15383).
See assessment report (S7) for further details.
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.421).
J. Allen (NLA), 25 May 2005. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 1 July 2015 and 21 July 2019.

Monument Types

  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BLAST WALL (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COASTAL OBSERVATION POST? (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)
  • NISSEN HUT? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • OBSERVATION POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (TYPE FW3/22) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (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

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 2130-2 27-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 3038A & TG 2937A).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF S/358 30 30-JUL-1941 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF AC/59 62 19-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/690 5105-6 11-MAR-1952 (NMR).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Swain. NHER TG 2938/A (SWAIN 5A/15) n.d..
<S6>Map: Ordnance Survey. 2000. Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 map (revised 2000).
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Robertson, D., Crawley, P., Barker, A., and Whitmore, S. 2005. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey. Assessment Report and Updated Project Design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1045.

Related records

15383Related to: Site of World War Two pillbox (Monument)
41582Related to: World War Two pillbox (Monument)

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2021 Norfolk Historic Environment Service