Record Details

NHER Number:53456
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two searchlight batteries and military training site

Summary

The site of a World War Two searchlight battery and military training area is visible on aerial photographs on Kilverstone Heath. The site consists of trefoil-shaped earthworks of the searchlight emplacements and an accompanying circular emplacement. The remains of military buildings are visible to the north. A track with a circular dispersal point at the eastern end may represent the former position for a radar controlled 150-mm projector mounted on a wheeled trailer, which are employed at some searchlight batteries later in World War Two. On the western edge of the site are a pillbox (NHER 15052) and a possible spigot mortar emplacement defending the entrance to the site. In the area immediately surrounding the battery, in particular to the south of the emplacements, is an area of large weapons pit and slit trenches. Some of these large angular pits may have originally houses light anti-aircraft gun emplacements, providing additional protection for the site. The wider area is covered with numerous smaller weapons pits and small practice trenches forming a military training area. Three possible anti aircraft batteries, including that formerly recorded under NHER 37076 are visible to the east of the area.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 9154 8651
Map Sheet:TL98NW
Parish:BRETTENHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
BRIDGHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
CROXTON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
KILVERSTONE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

March 2010. Norfolk NMP.
The site of a World War Two searchlight battery and military training area is visible on aerial photographs on Kilverstone Heath (S1-S2). The site is centred on TL 9058 8650 and consists of the trefoil-shaped earthworks of the searchlight emplacements and an accompanying circular emplacement. The remains of military buildings are visible to the north. A track with a circular dispersal point at the eastern end (S1-S2) may represent the former position for a radar controlled 150-mm projector mounted on a wheeled trailer, which are employed at some searchlight batteries later in World War Two. On the western edge of the site are a pillbox (NHER 15052) and a possible spigot mortar emplacement at approximately TL 9023 8668 (S1-S2) defending the entrance to the site. In the area immediately surrounding the battery, in particular to the south of the emplacements, is an area of large weapons pit and slit trenches. Some of these large angular pits may have originally housed light anti-aircraft gun emplacements, providing additional protection for the site. The wider area is covered with numerous smaller weapons pits and small practice trenches forming a military training area.
S. Horlock (NMP), 12 March 2010.

November 2010. Norfolk NMP.
Three further possible anti aircraft batteries are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs (S3-S6). They each consist of five embanked pits encircling inner features, at least one of which, centred on TL 9149 8645, has been surveyed (S7) and was described as a possible searchlight battery with gun emplacements around (NHER 37076). However, they are not considered to be searchlight batteries, and are more likely to have been dug for training purposes only, as there is no evidence of any structures or trackways surrounding them. The further two are centred on TL 9131 8604 and TL 9210 8574, and are similar in form; it may be possible to observe earthworks within the outer gun emplacements, but it is difficult to be certain. This area of military training may be linked to an area of further training trenches and possible weapons pits visible to the north (NHER 54513). Further possible training trenches and/or weapons pits are visible as far to the east as TL 9277 8721.
E. Bales (NMP), 04 November 2010.

December 2010. Walkover Survey.
Rapid Identification Survey. Brettenham Heath bare ground plots, Plots 2-5.
A rapid identification survey undertaken by SCCAS recorded some earthworks of mounds and depressions in this area, which may have been related to the World War Two activity.
See report (S8) for further details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 26 August 2015.

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEARCHLIGHT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • WEAPONS PIT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC 276 5031-2 18-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/378 4008-10 13-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1801 3145-6 25-OCT-1946 (NHER TL 9184B & 9284A).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1918 3093-7 09-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 58/649 4155 23-APR-1951 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1959. RAF 58/2688 0386 25-JAN-1959 (NMR).
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Cushion, B. 2002. STANTA ILMP Woodland Earthwork Rapid Identification Survey. Brian Cushion Archaeological & Cartographical Surveyor.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Brooks, R. 2011. Archaeological Rapid Identification Survey Report. Brettenham Heath bare ground plots, Brettenham, Norfolk. Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. 2011/009.

Related records

15052Parent of: World War Two pillbox (Monument)
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