Record Details

NHER Number:15113
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two defences at Newport, Hemsby


World War Two anti invasion defences, including an anti tank ditch, barbed wire, anti tank blocks and one or more pillboxes, are visible on aerial photographs as extant earthworks, structures and buildings surrounding the hamlet of Newport. These formed part of a network of defences ranged along this stretch of coastline: the beach itself was defended by lines of barbed wire and beach scaffolding (NHER 27278), and further defences lay approximately 330m to the north (NHER 27389). A large military site just over 100m to the south (NHER 18359) was an ‘Oboe’ site, used by aircraft navigation systems. Some of the Newport defences, including a pillbox and two anti tank blocks, still survive on the beach, where they have also been recorded as NHER 41605 and 41606. A spigot mortar pedestal (NHER 41607) recorded approximately 50m to the north may once have also formed part of this larger site but it was not recognised on the consulted aerial photographs.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 5099 1644
Map Sheet:TG51NW

Full description

2 August 1979. Visit. In gap below Cottage on the Cliff.
Pill box. Polygonal; concrete faced in brick; unusually small loopholes. Now almost entirely buried in sand and supports rescue apparatus. Two concrete blocks block the gap itself.
E. Rose (NAU), 2 August 1979.

See NHER 41605 and 41606 for 2004 Norfolk Rapid Coastal Survey entries, may be same site.
J. Allen (NLA), 21 July 2005.

February 2006. Norfolk NMP.
NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 51031 16479 to TG 5100 1645.

The structures discussed above formed part of an extensive group of anti invasion defences visible on aerial photographs (S1)-(S8). These surrounded the hamlet of Newport, protecting both its seaward and landward sides. The earliest consulted aerial photographs of the site were taken in August 1940 (S1)-(S2). At this date a pillbox is visible on the edge of the beach, at TG 5109 1648. This is almost certainly the same structure as that discussed above and recorded as a Type 22 pillbox by the Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey (as NHER 41606). On top of the cliffs to the west (between TG 5091 1645 and TG 5092 1639) were two freshly created earthwork banks (or possibly barriers made of sandbags as no ditches are visible). These were surrounded by areas of shorter vegetation or uncultivated ground, the extent of which has been mapped. The northern area extended eastwards and included the area surrounding a tall structure, probably an electricity pylon or telegraph pole (it is still visible on aerial photographs taken in 1997 (S8)), at TG 5094 1645. The function of these features is not known but their fresh appearance in 1940 and unusual character suggests that they had a military use. By December 1940 (S3), the shorter bank had been levelled and the areas of shorter vegetation or undisturbed ground are no longer visible. By February 1941 (S4) two anti tank blocks and possibly a line of barbed wire are visible at TG 5107 1649, blocking access to the beach. A probable gun emplacement is visible at TG 5108 1645. Further inland, at TG 5094 1647, a substantial trench had been excavated. Its function is unknown, but it could have been a large slit trench. A pit at TG 5102 1641 may have been a gun emplacement or weapons pit, or even a bomb crater.

By May 1944 (S5), and visible on later aerial photographs (S6)-(S7), various additions had been made to the site. The most obvious of these was an anti tank ditch which encircled the landward sides of Newport. This obstacle, which is generally visible as a ditch flanked by banks on each side, had already been encroached upon by ploughing by May 1944. The northeastern segment, visible between TG 5094 1653 and TG 5099 1653, appears to have been slightly different from other parts of the ditch, and may have consisted of a one-sided ditch or scarp, perhaps flanked by a narrow bank along its south side. A line of barbed wire or similar material visible between TG 5111 1642 and TG 5105 1640 may have once continued as far as the T-shaped southeastern segment of the ditch, forming a continuous barrier along the southern side of the site. Within the ditch, the trench visible in 1941 had been levelled. Immediately to the east of its former location (at TG 5096 1647) a probable polygonal pillbox is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1945 and 1946 (S6)-(S7) (it may have been camouflaged as a house in 1944 (S5)). A second possible pillbox, in this case square or rectangular in plan, is visible at TG 5104 1647 on the same aerial photographs. A weapons pit or gun emplacement had been excavated into the earlier bank or sandbag barrier, at TG 5091 1645.

On recent aerial photographs of the site taken in 2002 (S9) little is visible of the former defences. Field survey has demonstrated that the Type 22 pillbox and two anti tank blocks still survived in 2004 (see NHER 41605 and 41606) and these are partially visible on the aerial photographs. None of the other defences are visible, although traces may survive which are not visible (or not recognisable) on the consulted aerial photographs.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 6 February 2006.

Monument Types

  • ANTI TANK BLOCK (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI TANK DITCH (ARTIFICIAL) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI TANK DITCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMB CRATER? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • CUBE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • DITCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (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)
  • PIT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • TANK TRAP (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

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Wartime defences will help to keep out the sea. 21 October.
<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 5016/5 (MSO 31014 2A/BR14/4 3599) 16-AUG-1940.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 2A/BR190 (V) 49-50 18-AUG-1940 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 268A/BR183 11-2 17-DEC-1940 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF 268F/BR172 (VA) 44-5 10-FEB-1941 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/LA/17 3011-2 28-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/832 3190-1 23-SEP-1945 (NHER TG 5015A, TG 5016D).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 1035-6 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 5016C, TG 5116A).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1997. OS/97613 131-2 01-JUN-1997.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Environment Agency. 2002. EA 042 AF/02C/339 7054-5 22-JUL-2002 (EA).

Related records

41605Related to: World War Two anti tank blocks (Monument)
41606Related to: World War Two pillbox (Monument)

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