Record Details

NHER Number:11335
Type of record:Monument
Name:Weybourne Camp


The site of the World War Two and post war Weybourne Anti Aircraft Training Camp located alongside the cliffs at Weybourne to the north west of the village. The camp originally started out as a temporary summer camp for the Anti Aircraft Division of the Territorial Army in 1935. At first the majority of the camp consisted of wooden and tented structures, although in 1937 it was decided to make the camp permanent and more fixed structures and defences were erected. The camp closed in 1959. During World War Two the camp was surrounded by a perimeter anti tank ditch and defended by a system of gun emplacements and barbed wire. The interior of the camp consisted of groups of Nissen huts and barracks and other military buildings. The cliff top to the north was covered by a line of heavy anti aircraft guns and batteries, slit trenches and pillboxes.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1017 4359
Map Sheet:TG14SW

Full description

All references to the possible 16th century anti-Armada defences at this location have been removed and recorded under NHER 38634.

Anti-aircraft practice camp.
In use before 1935 when catapult launch fitted. Visited by Churchill 1941. Airstrip laid out in World War Two. Used for gunnery until 1960. Now largely demolished.
Ordnance Survey photograph shows cropmark of defensive ditch? From 1091 4346 to 0975 4353.
E. Rose (NAU), 8 December 1981.

August 1983.
Central part still used as RAF radar station. Around this many wartime buildings still stand, including at northwest corner by radar a good brick pill box, hexagonal, concrete sheds and overgrown gun emplacements? These may soon be demolished. In central valley inside RAF compound are underground defensive positions, and along northeast shoreline debris of demolished pill boxes - for these see NHER 24264 to NHER 24265.
E. Rose (NAU), 19 August 1983.

Also, along cliff top east of valley, long concrete sill with groove suggesting hangar or gun position with sliding door.
Other buildings not demolished.
E. Rose (NAU), 6 January 1988.

There is also a large gun position overlooking the valley to the west, at the southwest corner; very difficult to judge its exact position on map from the valley.
E. Rose (NAU), 18 July 1994.

For details of the above mentioned pill boxes and gun emplacements see cross references.

Newspaper cuttings (S1) in file.

April 2004.
Clearance of scrub at northwest corner for Muckleburgh Military Museum tank assault course has exposed brick flights of steps up grass slopes. Seen only from distance.
E. Rose (NLA), 13 April 2004.

Centre of camp altered from TG 1000 4330 to TG 1023 4357.

May 2004. Norfolk NMP.
The site of the World War Two Anti-Aircraft Training Camp at Weybourne was mapped by the NMP from aerial photographs from 1940-6 (S3-5). Only structures, defences and buildings visible on the 1946 and earlier aerial photographs were mapped as some elements of the site were altered or added in the later 1940s and 50s. However some detail of the structures was taken from later past-war aerial photographs (S6-8) as long as it did not appear to have been altered since. The defences at Weybourne Camp are particularly complex and alter significantly throughout the Second World War. The camp continues to develop after the war, as the RAF aerial photographs from the 1950s reveal, such as the development of the radar station and the construction of many more gun emplacements and military structures. However these were not mapped or recorded by the NMP as they post-date the 1945 cut off date of the project.

The site of Weybourne Camp (NHER 11335) is a parent site for the following records; NHER 1994, 2800, 24264, 32460, 32469, 32471, 32475-7, 32475, 32500-1, and 38367, 38493, 38625-6 and 38633. A massive area of military training sites on Muckleburgh Hill and Kelling Heath also surrounds the camp to the south and also to the west and east along the saltmarsh and cliffs.

The extent of the World War Two camp was defined by a perimeter anti-tank ditch and defended by a system of gun emplacements and barbed wire and the site was centred on TG 1023 4357. The site encompasses roughly 2km by 750m. The defensive ditch starts in the west at TG 0922 4392 following the line of a creek ‘The Quag’. It is possible that an existing channel was cleaned out and widened for this purpose. The ditch varies in width from between 4m to 5.5m wide along the entire length. The ditch runs to TG 0955 4353 and then turns to the east and then continues to TG 1019 4316. A bank of upcast material is visible to the south of the main ditch, up to 14m wide in places, running from TG 0933 4385 to TG 0992 4336. On top of this bank at TG 0962 4349 is a 4m square structure. Another section of bank runs from TG 1008 4322 towards the end of the western half of the anti-tank ditch which terminates at TG 1037 4323, the entrance to the camp. Eighteen anti-tank cubes, arranged roughly in two parallel lines defend this entrance. To the north of this is a 4m wide square structure which produces a significant shadow, therefore it is possible that it is some sort of mast or watchtower. The ditch starts again at TG 1040 4323 and is again flanked by a wide southern bank. On top of this bank are several possible defences. At TG 1040 4323 is a 4m square structure, possibly a pillbox. Also at TG 1044 4323 is an earthwork circular embankment, 6m in diameter. This has a sunken interior and is likely to be a gun emplacement. A pit has also been cut into the bank to the immediate east. A second circular embanked emplacement, 4m in diameter, is located at TG 1050 4326. The ditch turns at TG 1093 4346 to the north and then continues to the cliffs. This last section of defensive ditch has an interior line of barbed wire, plus the external bank. This meets joins with the coastal defences of NHER 28626 and several other stretches of barbed wire. The main east-west defences along the seaward side of the camp at this point is a line of scaffolding running from TG 1109 4368 to TG 1078 4374. A further section of scaffolding is visible to the north of this main linear, 50m long and 13m wide. This has been erected surrounding a large, 5-6m across, hexagonal type 22 or 22V pillbox at TG 1088 4374. These defences are all constructed during 1941 (S4).

The seaward section of the camp appears to be defended or defined by a series of quite sinuous banks and ditches, although it is not entirely clear whether these are contemporary with the World War Two camp. It is possible that these are much earlier and may be post-medieval and possibly relating to the Armada defences said to have been present at this location. See NHER 38634 for the details and discussion of these defences. Some of the banks along the frontage of the site do appear to have been incorporated into the camp defences, such as the inner bank running from TG 1087 4374 to TG 1046 4374. This may have originally been a post-medieval field boundary, although see NHER 38634 for the possible origins of these coastal earthworks. Two defensive structures have been placed at the end of this bank in 1941, a square possible pillbox, 4.5m across, at TG 1046 4375 and at TG 1044 4375 a larger rectangular three celled structure, measuring 13m by 7.5m. A further fragmentary bank runs from TG 1031 4375 to TG 0969 4396 to the west. An outer narrower bank flanks this boundary to the north along the western extent of this feature. Again this appears to be an elaboration upon an existing boundary as part of activity at the camp. In 1941 fragments of barbed wire are visible centred on TG 1044 4379 and a stretch of scaffolding has been placed from TG 1038 4376 to TG 0999 4388. Barbed wire defences also surround the southwestern edge of the camp, recorded under NHER 38367.

The interior of the camp alters significantly between 1940 and 1946. Although it is not possible to document every single change, the main characteristics of the camp and activity will be outlined. Phased plans have been created for 1940, 1941 and 1946 and these show the development of the camp throughout the Second World War (see secondary file).
In the 1940 photograph (S3) the main area of building is centred on TG 1032 4348, measuring 415m north to south by 240m east to west. The group flanks the road north from the camp entrance and to area to the west. At TG 1042 4327 is a conjoined wing of buildings forming a ‘H’ arrangement. However the majority of the huts in this area are approximately 9m by 4.5m. To the north, at TG 1043 4345, is a large building measuring 30m by 20m. At TG 1046 4352 are two conjoined elongated buildings both measuring 50m by 10m. To the immediate east of this is an angular arrangement of trenches and platforms, these would appear be some sort of gun emplacement and practice trench. To the west of this flanking the road are a row of four identical plan ‘H-shaped’ conjoined buildings. Another large structure is visible at TG 1045 4365, this is also surrounded by further angular earthwork trenches and platforms. Centred on TG 1039 4368 is another cluster of structures, including two large buildings. To the south of this alongside the trackway is a row of rectangular huts. These lead down towards an area of fifteen huts. To the south centred on TG 1028 4340 is another large cluster of buildings, including two 40m by 10m structures.

By July 1941 the amount of building on the site had doubled, in particular with groups of nissen or similar curved profile huts, 11m by 5m, being erected around TG 1011 4356, TG 1020 4350, TG 1023 4362, TG 1010 4347 and TG 1046 4344. Some major re-landscaping also takes place between 1940 and 1941, including a large semi-circular cut feature centred on TG 1012 4365, measuring 90m by 110m, and two earthen mounds at TG 1024 4357 and at TG 1011 4353. Sections of trench and pits subsequently get dug into these mounds. In 1946 a further large area of huts has been created centred on TG 1047 4350, plus a cluster of both fixed and temporary structures centred on TG 1010 4330, including a large T-shaped building, 25m in length.

Evidence of practice trenches and training exercise areas is visible throughout the camp in the early period. Within the centre of the area defined by these first buildings on the site, at TG 1038 4356, is an area of eight parallel practice trenches, the longest being 65m long. Also centred on TG 1005 4377 is a cluster of nineteen earthwork or possibly sandbag constructed circular gun emplacements. These are penannular in form and range in diameter from 6 to 9.5m. These would appear to be evidence of repeated training exercises taking place in one location. Four small square and rectangular structures are located in a line from TG 1005 4377 to TG 1005 4380, ranging in size from 1.5m square to 5m by 2.5m. By 1941 an additional four gun emplacements have been constructed to the south, overlapping one another, but the main area of emplacements has been built over with six rectangular huts, mostly measuring 19m by 8m. The roof of these huts has been painted with camouflage pattern (S4). Interestingly the roofs are normal colours again by 1946 (S5). By this time a further two large, possibly HAA, gun emplacements have been constructed to the east. One at TG 0989 4380, which is octagonal and 10m wide and another more oblong in shape at 0992 4380, both have a surrounding bank.

A further group of these small earthen emplacements are centred on TG 1004 4348. This area is not clear on the aerial photographs from 1940, but in 1941 a tall and 3.5m wide structure can clearly be seen to the immediate south of this group (S4). Another group of these small penannular earthen gun emplacements were constructed in 1940 centred on TG 1057 4374. These ten rings are located to the north of two large gun emplacements, one at TG 1055 4372 and at TG 1060 4372. These are Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) gun emplacements consisting of a 16m octagonal gun pit surrounded by ammunition lockers, with a central gun holdfast. A circular earthen bank surrounds both of these guns. The command post associated with these two guns is positioned at TG 1057 4369, measuring approximately 10m by 5m. To the east of this in 1946 two large square HAA guns are located at TG 1071 4370 and TG 1074 4369. These are 14m across and have four ammunition lockers, one on each side. The corresponding command post is likely to be the large building to the south at TG 1071 4363, measuring 22m by 12m, although there is a nearer L-shaped structure which may be related.

On the opposing seaward side of the camp are another two pairs of the HAA guns, both under construction in 1940. The gun pits are circular, with opposing gates to the north and south, and 15m in diameter, located at TG 1019 4375 and at TG 1022 4375. The corresponding command post for these guns is to the south at TG 1020 4372 and consists of a three celled building, measuring 16m by 6m. A second pair of circular HAA guns is located to the west at TG 1010 4377, 13.5m in diameter, and at TG 1013 4377, 12m in diameter. The gun pits in this case are open with a wide gate to the north and ammunition lockers to the south. The command post is located at TG 1011 4374, measuring 11m by 7m. Two square gun emplacements, 15 to 16.5m wide, replace the two circular gun emplacements to the east between July 1941 and June 1946. A 5.5m by 4.5m concrete structure is also constructed to the immediate south of the corresponding command post. Also associated with this group of defences are two pillboxes to the north, one at TG 1011 4379, 5.5m square and a second at TG 1013 4380, 7.5m wide. To the south at TG 1017 4365 is a 5m square pillbox, this appears to have a possible rectangular conjoined structure to the west, although the 1940 aerial photographs do not show it clearly and it appears to have been removed by 1941. A linear bank encircles the site to the south and this may correspond to the upcast from a slit trench that is not clearly visible.

Other apparent training exercise sites in 1940 are visible, including one located at TG 1063 4351, consisting of an oblong earthen bank, 86m by 13m, alongside a field boundary. To the immediate west of this is a line of irregular earthwork emplacements and linears. To the north of this a section of slit trench runs from TG 1068 4363 to TG 1064 4367. By July 1941 a much larger trench system has been created to the west of this from TG 1066 4360 to TG 1061 4372. This trench is zigzag in plan and up to 3.4m wide, a pronounced bank of upcast is visible either side. This trench runs from the eastern HAA gun towards a large rectangular building at TG 1069 4360. Another system of slit trenches located on the coast centred on TG 1087 4372 develops throughout 1940 to 1941. In 1940 a system of zigzag trenches is present, which gets extended southwards in 1941, in particular an unusual arrangement of earthworks including a triangular bank, with three pits dug into it, conjoined to a diamond shaped sunken area. This area of defences is surrounded by a barbed wire enclosure.

Another area of coastal defences and training sites was constructed to the west of the camp, centred on TG 1019 4383. These are located around two pillboxes (recorded under NHER 24264 and 32500). This area of the site consists of several slit trenches, which in part encircle the type 22 pillbox (NHER 24264). There are also two linear arrangements of circular pits. It is possible that these are weapons pits, however the pattern and uniformity of these features would suggest that they are craters. In 1941 a large penannular gun emplacement, 12.5m across, with a rectangular sunken interior. Also in 1941 this group of defences gets enclosed by barbed wire, the extent of which continues across the western seaward side of the camp. By 1946 (S5) more barbed wire is visible, including a broad section running from TG 0963 4397 to TG 0971 4381, which overlies the route of part of a possible system of communication trenches visible in 1941.

The airstrip at Weybourne Camp does appear on the aerial photographs until 1946, although a large hangar (TG 0987 4374, 36m by 20m) and aircraft are visible in 1940-1. In 1946 this hangar has two 11m by 5m rectangular structures built either side of it, plus various smaller structures to the west. The airstrip runs from 0982 4358 and has two runways forming a V-shape to TG 0974 4378 and TG 0978 4378. A building is located at the end of the runways, measuring 21m by 8m. A cluster of other smaller buildings and structures are located around this building, included a 5m square structure at TG 0981 4353, possibly a pillbox. These are to the east of the 6.5m long L-shaped pillbox or gun emplacement located alongside the parish boundary at TG 0977 4359. This was constructed in 1941 and has an encircling earthwork bank. The position of this emplacement is very similar to others further along the parish boundary to the south (NHER 32476-7). Another structure is partially visible within the boundary to the north at TG 0976 4362, at least 4.5m across. A further pillbox, 5m square, is located along the parish boundary 160m to the north at TG 0970 4377. This is located at the end of two earthwork banks, one visible in 1940 with two small emplacement dug into it. This is to the immediate south of two areas of defences recorded under NHER 32460, 32469, 32471 and 38633). The second bank is constructed later between 1941 and 1946, as is the small earthwork emplacement to the east.
S. Massey (NMP), 25 May 2004.

May-November 2004. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey.
Inter-tidal survey (Environmental Zone 12), Context 96:
A WWII iron scaffold clip found loose on the beach at TG 09606 44019.
Inter-tidal survey (Environmental Zone 13):
Context 137:
Seven blocks of concrete and one section of brick wall were found partially embedded within the shingle at the base of the cliffs (between TG 10846 43708 and TG10853 43714). They were not in-situ and may have fallen of the cliffs. They were probably the remains of a Second World War military defensive structure.
Context 138:
Between TG 10846 43708 and TG 10792 43718 a series of in-situ structures were visible in the low cliff face. They included concrete bases and pipes. These were part of a Second World War military base on the cliff top.
Context 141:
A concrete block was found partially embedded in beach shingle at TG 10213 43838. It could have been an anti-tank block from the Second World War defences.
Context 197:
Deposit of clay seen in the cliff between TG 10877 43708 and TG 10926 43705, containing fragments of concrete, tarmac, paving slab and brick. Some of this material may be from a military base on the cliff top.
Context 198:
A ditch or pit visible in the low cliff face at TG 10902 43708.
Context 201:
A scatter of reinforced concrete fragments and sections of brick wall were found on the cliff face and top. Between TG 10142 43848 and TG 10209 43826, they were remains of a Second World War structure. May be from NHER 11335, NHER 24264 or NHER 32500. See NHER 41572.
See assessment report (S9) for further details.
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.421).
J. Allen (NLA), 22 April 2005. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 20 July 2019.

See NHER 41572 for material found during the Norfolk Rapid Coastal Survey.
J. Allen (NLA), 25 April 2005.

(NHER 11335)
January 2007. Norfolk NMP.
A plan of the defences surrounding Weybourne Camp in 1940 indicate that the defensive line of the anti-tank ditch was continued by the Catchwater Drain to the west of the camp. It is likely that this was widened to act as a further line of defence (S10).
S. Massey (NMP), 10 January 2007.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • FORT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FORTIFICATION (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RADAR STATION (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT HANGAR (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT DEFENCE SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ARMY CAMP (World War Two to 21st Century - 1939 AD to 2100 AD)
  • ARTILLERY SCHOOL (World War Two to 21st Century - 1939 AD to 2100 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BARRACKS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BEACH DEFENCE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMB CRATER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COMMAND POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War Two to 21st Century - 1939 AD to 2100 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY CAMP (World War Two to 21st Century - 1939 AD to 2100 AD)
  • MILITARY COASTAL DEFENCES (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • NISSEN HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PRACTICE TRENCH (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)
  • 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


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: OS AP 69 037 027, NAU AP TG 1043A.
---Publication: Fiddian, V. (ed). 2003. Salthouse. The story of a Norfolk Village.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---*Digital Archive: Foot, W.. 2004?. Defence Area 41 (Weybourne) IN Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England. p 3.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Norfolk's spooky past. 27 October.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. [Articles on the opening of a military vehicle tourist attraction].
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 268A/BR183 VB4-7 17-DEC-1940 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF S/330/1416 V62-6 16-JUL-1941 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1636 4413-5 09-JUL-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 0943A, TG 1043A-B).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 540/1007 0026-7 03-FEB-1953 (Norfolk SMR TG 1043F, K).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Hunting Surveys Ltd. 1969. HSL UK/69/949 0124-5 20-NOV-1969 (Norfolk SMR TG 0943A, TG 1043C).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1994. OS/94172 016-7 14-JUN-1994.
<S9>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

38643Parent of: Post medieval to modern ditches and tracks (Monument)
38564Parent of: Site of World War One slit trenches (Monument)
38639Parent of: Site of World War Two barbed wire enclosures (Monument)
38565Parent of: Site of World War Two barbed wire obstruction (Monument)
38579Parent of: Site of World War Two coastal defences (Monument)
38626Parent of: Site of World War Two coastal defences (Monument)
38367Parent of: Site of World War Two defences (Monument)
38569Parent of: Site of World War Two defensive structures (Monument)
32500Parent of: Site of World War Two heavy machine gun emplacement (Monument)
38610Parent of: Site of World War Two military structures (Monument)
38611Parent of: Site of World War Two military structures (Monument)
38566Parent of: Site of World War Two slit trenches (Monument)
38623Parent of: Site of World War Two slit trenches (Monument)
38633Parent of: Site of World War Two temporary defences (Monument)
38642Parent of: Site of World War Two weapons pits (Monument)
38635Parent of: World War Two bomb craters (Monument)
38625Parent of: World War Two coastal defences (Monument)
32477Parent of: World War Two defensive structures (Monument)
38493Parent of: World War Two defensive structures (Monument)
38644Parent of: World War Two defensive structures (Monument)
32460Parent of: World War Two gun battery (Monument)
38368Parent of: World War Two gun emplacement (Monument)
32471Parent of: World War Two heavy machine gun emplacement (Monument)
32476Parent of: World War Two Medium Gun Emplacement and observation post (Monument)
24264Parent of: World War Two pillbox (Monument)
32469Parent of: World War Two pillbox (Monument)
32475Parent of: World War Two pillbox (Monument)
32501Parent of: World War Two pillbox (Monument)
19443Parent of: World War Two pillbox and slit trench (Monument)
38346Parent of: World War Two pits and trenches (Monument)
38578Parent of: World War Two rifle range (Monument)
38366Part of: Site of possible World War Two gun emplacements (Monument)

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