Record Details

NHER Number:28938
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two pillbox and associated structure on Hemsby beach


A World War Two pillbox exposed on the beach in 1992 is almost certainly the same structure as a Type 22 pillbox visible on aerial photographs taken from 1940 onwards. A possible slit trench and an unidentified structure visible to the south of the pillbox were probably associated defences. The site formed part of a network of anti invasion defences sited along this stretch of coastline: the beach on the seaward side of the pillbox was protected by lines of barbed wire and later beach scaffolding (NHER 27278), while approximately 250m to the south a variety of defences were clustered around Hemsby Gap (NHER 16790). The site has now been destroyed by coastal erosion.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 5061 1767
Map Sheet:TG51NW

Full description

Pillbox. On beach, buried in sand up to roof.
Polygonal, concrete. Scattered around in sand are various fragments of brick faced concrete in higher quality brickwork than is usual for defensive structures.
E. Rose (NLA), 1 May 1992.

July 1994.
Pillbox exposed and complete (1992) now fragmented; blocks of concrete visible along high tide mark.
D. Gurney (NLA), 22 July 1994.

September 2001. Visited.
The brickwork is certainly the inner lining of the pillbox, but is Phopress rather than Whitlingsea. Just a pile of concrete and brick now.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 September 2001.

February 2006. Norfolk NMP.
NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 5061 1762 to TG 5061 1768.

A Type 22 pillbox visible as an extant structure at TG 5061 1770 on aerial photographs (S1)-(S2) is almost certainly the same as that described above. It may be visible on the edge of the sand dunes, perhaps disguised as a hut, on aerial photographs taken in 1940, e.g. (S3)-(S4). It is first clearly visible, however, on aerial photographs taken in 1944 (S1), by which time it stood on the beach. A possible slit trench (only visible in 1940) and an unidentified structure, located approximately 30m and 25m to its south respectively, were probably associated defences. The pillbox survived more or less intact for some years after the war but, as described above, it has since been destroyed, presumably by coastal erosion.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 2 February 2006.

Monument Types

  • PILLBOX (TYPE FW3/22) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/LA/17 3009-10 28-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1989. OS/89035 007-8 18-MAR-1989 (NMR).
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 5017/7 (MSO 31014 2A/BR14/4 3603) 16-AUG-1940.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. RAF 268A/BR183 14-5 17-DEC-1940 (NMR).

Related records - none

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