Record Details

NHER Number:33782
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two gun emplacement

Summary

A World War Two anti-aircraft gun or searchlight battery is visible on aerial photographs. It was possibly located to protect East Dereham or Swanton Morley airfield (NHER 2830). A pillbox located nearby (NHER 14242) may have been associated with this site.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 9910 1624
Map Sheet:TF91NE
Parish:HOE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

March 1946. RAF aerial photograph.
A single circular gun emplacement is located in an enclosure to the west of the railway, with buildings to the east. This is presumably associated with a pillbox on the opposite side of the railway (NHER 14242).
B. Cushion (NLA), August 1998.

1998.
The bridge to the east is still (1998) known to local people as 'the army bridge,' though it is a typical Midland and Great Northern Railway railway bridge.
E. Rose (NLA).

November 2007. Norfolk NMP.
A World War Two anti-aircraft gun- or searchlight battery is visible on aerial photographs (S1-S2). A circular banked emplacement was present at the western end of the site. It had two opposing entrances through the surrounding earth bank and an external diameter of 16m. A similar sized circular concrete without any surrounding bank was present just to its south. To the east of the emplacements, extending along a track towards a railway bridge, were a group of huts. The earliest available aerial photographs showing this site dated to June 1945 (S1) and it is likely that the site was out of use by that time with some structures probably having already been removed. It is possible that this site relates to a light anti-aircraft gun battery, perhaps positioned to protect Swanton Morley airfield (NHER 2830), which lay 2km to the north. However the type of emplacements visible on the aerial photographs are similar to those found at searchlight batteries. It is possible that the characteristic trefoil group of searchlight emplacements had already been removed during World War Two. These may have been replaced by a mobile searchlight located on a circular concrete emplacement like the one visible to the south of the track at this site. If the site was a searchlight battery, it could have been positioned at this location to provide support to anti-aircraft guns protecting Dereham. By March 1946 more of the structures, including one of the two emplacements, had been demolished (S2). This site has not been mapped in detail, with only its visible extent in 1945 recorded. A pillbox located to the east of the site may have been associated with it (NHER 14242). All features relating to the gun- or searchlight battery have now been removed.
J. Albone (NMP), 15 November 2007.

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT 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)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/369 3027-8 09-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/100 5236 30-MAR-1946 (NHER TF 9816A).

Related records - none

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