Record Details

NHER Number:38970
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two military complex

Summary

A World War Two military site is visible as structures and earthworks on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s and 1950s. The photographs show that features at the site changed and developed between 1940 and 1952 and included at least one pillbox, gun and/or searchlight emplacements, barbed wire obstructions, weapons pits, slit trenches and various structures. The earliest of these features were in place by September 1940. The site may have been associated with the group of military buildings (NHER 39118) immediately to the southeast.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2936 3819
Map Sheet:TG23NE
Parish:GIMINGHAM, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

December 2004. Norfolk NMP.
A World War Two military site is visible as extant structures and earthworks on aerial photographs ((S1) to (S7)), centred at TG 2936 3819. The site, which includes emplacements, a probable pillbox and various other structures, is relatively large and comprises a greater number of different elements when compared to many of the other coastal military sites mapped in the surrounding area (for example NHER 38953 or 38969). It lacks, however, the standardised form of most coastal batteries, such as the Emergency Battery located at Mundesley (NHER 14142), less than 2km to the southeast.

The earliest consulted aerial photographs ((S1) to (S2)) indicate that the site was established by September 1940. At this date it comprised a rectangular pillbox or other military structure at TG 2931 3823, and a second structure, perhaps a gun, at TG 2935 3821. A third structure, perhaps a gun or a searchlight, was positioned at TG 2937 3815, above what is later visible as an embanked, polygonal emplacement (S6 to S7). Barbed wire can be seen running along the cliff edge and across the northern part of the site. Additional features include a small, earthwork gun emplacement at TG 2935 3823 and two weapons pits dug into the cliff edge on the eastern side of the site, at TG 2941 3820 and TG 2940 3817. There are also two unidentified structures on the eastern side of the site, at TG 2939 3818 and TG 2939 3814. Activity on the cliff face, comprising slit trenches and weapons pits, is principally visible centred at TG 2943 3815, but a pit is also visible at TG 2933 3824.

Many of the features described above are still visible on a photograph taken in 1942 (S3). Additional features comprise two slit trenches at TG 2937 3820, and two extra pits and a circuit of barbed wire around the features dug into the cliff face at TG 2943 3815. A building at TG 2929 3818, which is visible on earlier photographs and may have originally been an outbuilding for the house, has a track leading to it from the possible gun to its northeast and was presumably being used by the military at this date.

By 1946 ((S4) to (S5)) a number of changes have again been made. The pillbox and possible guns or searchlights have been demolished and/or removed, although remnants remain and they are still visible as earthworks on later aerial photographs (S6 to S7). A more recent, concrete emplacement is visible at TG 2932 3823. Additional lengths of barbed wire can be seen, including a figure of eight arrangement at TG 2935 3819 which probably surrounded a structure (or structures) which has already been removed. Another weapons pit is visible on the cliff face at approximately TG 2932 3825. Aerial photographs taken after 1946, together with modern maps (for example, (S8)), indicate that almost the entire area covered by the site has now eroded to become part of the cliff face. As a consequence of this there was a lack of enough suitable control points to rectify some parts of the photographs, and therefore the location of many of the mapped features, particularly those on the cliffs and the seaward side of the site, is approximate.

The site was located within the grounds of a large house (Marl Point on modern maps, for example (S8)) and forms part of an extensive network of World War Two defences ranged along this stretch of coast. It may have been associated with the group of military buildings (NHER 39118) which had been constructed immediately to its southeast by the end of the war.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 20 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)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (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 - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 2/BR186 1-2 05-SEP-1940 (NMR).
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2938/1 (MSO 31020 26/BR14/12 4888) 19-SEP-1940.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF AC/59 62 19-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 2131-2 27-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 2938A and TG 2937A).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4114-5 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1949. RAF 541/390 4101-2 10-NOV-1949 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/690 5105-6 11-MAR-1952 (NMR).
<S8>Map: Ordnance Survey. 2000. Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 map (revised 2000).

Related records - none

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