Record Details

NHER Number:39148
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two coastal defences


A World War Two coastal defence site is visible as a complex of earthworks and structures on aerial photographs. It consists of a variety of elements, including earthwork and concrete gun emplacements, small structures or huts, slit trenches, weapons pits, barbed wire and a pillbox, the earliest of which are visible on aerial photographs taken in 1940. The site appears to have continued in use until the end of the war; by 1946 a system of slit trenches and emplacements, as well as a pillbox and a barbed wire enclosure, are visible at the top of the cliff. Since the 1940s the site has been partially destroyed by coastal erosion; any features which survived at the site were demolished and/or levelled when a new access track to the beach was created in the 1950s.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2990 3782
Map Sheet:TG23NE

Full description

December 2004. Norfolk NMP.
A World War Two coastal defence site is visible as a complex of earthworks and structures on aerial photographs (S1-6), centred around TG 2990 3782. It is relatively large and comprises a greater number of different elements than many of the military sites recorded along this stretch of coast (compare, for example, NHER 39147 and 38969). It remained in use as a defensive site until the end of the war, but perhaps played a secondary role to the Emergency Battery (NHER 14142) situated approximately 1.2km south-eastwards along the coast. The latter was established by January 1943.

In September 1940 (S1-2) the site comprised a large, concrete gun emplacement situated at TG 2991 3783, on a ledge in the cliff face and along a path leading from the cliff edge to the beach. A structure, probably the gun, is visible on vertical aerial photographs from this year (S1), and the emplacement has a blast wall or set of stairs on its west side. To its south-east, and on the other side of the path, are at least three huts. The group of structures is protected on its seaward side by an arrangement of barbed wire. Below this is a group of possible huts or similar structures at the base of the cliff; these were not clear enough to map individually or to interpret more fully. The gun emplacement and huts are still visible on photographs taken in 1941 (S3), but the arrangement of barbed wire to their south has been altered. In addition, pits (probably weapons pits), slit trenches and a polygonal pillbox are now visible at the top of the cliff (centred at TG 2994 3780). An earthwork bank, possibly a gun emplacement, may also date to this phase but is only clearly visible on later photographs. A large area to the south-west has been enclosed by barbed wire; this presumably surrounded an important feature of the site but what this was is not clear.

By April 1946 (S4) the site on the cliff appears overgrown but the barbed wire seems to be intact and other elements, such as the emplacement, may survive. The slit trenches and other earthworks at the top of the cliff are clearly visible, with some new pits and perhaps additional lengths of trench. Also, a second concrete emplacement is visible just below the south-eastern edge of the cliff, at TG 2997 3781; this may have been hidden on earlier photos by having been dug into the cliff edge. Later in 1946 (S5-6), the barbed wire has been removed, the second emplacement removed or lost to coastal erosion and part of the trench system levelled. Later aerial photographs indicate that the pillbox was removed by 1949, while any remaining elements were removed and/or levelled in the 1950s when the area was used for cutting a new access track to the beach. It should be noted that the location of the different elements of the site is approximate as many were mapped from unrectifiable parts of the aerial photographs.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 21 December 2004.

Monument Types

  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • HUT (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)
  • PIT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (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

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 2/BR186 3-4 05-SEP-1940 (NMR).
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2937/1 (MSO 31020 26/BR14/12 4886) 19-SEP-1940.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF S/358 29-30 30-JUL-1941 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1430 4493 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 2130-1 27-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 3038A & TG 2938A).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2119-20 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).

Related records - none

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