Monument record ARG 017 - Second World War anti-glider ditches and military training activity on The Walks, Aldringham Common

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Summary

An extensive network of Second World War anti-glider ditches is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of The Walks, Aldringham Common. Traces of Second World War (and perhaps earlier) military training activity is also visible, as the earthworks of pits and trenches. Recent photographs demonstrate that some of the earthworks still survive.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 464 616 (1166m by 1570m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TM46SE
Civil Parish ALDRINGHAM CUM THORPE, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish LEISTON, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Blocks of World War 2 anti-glider ditches on Aldringham Common. Possibly more block under golf course to west (S1)(R1).
An extensive area of anti-glider ditches are visible as earthworks on aerial photogrpahs from 1945 onwards, centred roughly on TM46506170 (S2). The ditches are circa 3 to 5m in width and 100 to 130m long. The ditches are flanked by small, roughly circular heaps of spoil, roughly 2 to 5m in diameter, presumably intended to destabilize any aircraft attempting to land despite the ditches. The ditches are laid out in an irregular chessboard pattern in squares of circa 120m x 120m, and cover an area of approximately 96 hectares. Although many of the ditches have been ploughed away, some sections are still visible on photographs of 1975 and 1982 (S3, S4). The mapping of these features is incomplete as of 10th October 2002, as the remainder of these features fall outside of the NMP project area.

May 2015. Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme.
The extensive network of Second World War anti-glider ditches described above is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs (S5)-(S6), and has now been mapped to its full extent (due to time limitations, only the ditches have been mapped, not the accompanying mounds of soil which line both sides of most of the ditch segments). Traces of Second World War military training activity are also visible, as the earthworks of pits and trenches (some of the pits could be bomb craters). A cleared area, perhaps for parking military vehicles, is visible to the west of Shellpits Cottages, a former childrens’ convalescent home (see historic Ordnance Survey maps), which may have been requisitioned. Two wide, seemingly overgrown and/or backfilled trenches visible at TM 4640 6194 and TM 4629 6169 (the latter partially mapped by extent) seem to be earlier features, perhaps even dating from the First World War. Recent photographs (S7) demonstrate that some of the earthworks still survive.
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 15th May 2015.

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <S1> (No record type): OS, AP 69 069 031 & 035, 1969.
  • <R1> (No record type): RAF, APs, 1953.
  • <M1> (No record type): AP: (S1).
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/929 4259-4260 16-Oct-1945.
  • <S3> Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Ltd. Meridian - Air Photograph. NMR MAL/75039 12-14 07-Jun-1975.
  • <S4> Photograph: National Monuments Record. Air Photograph. NMR TM4761/1 (SFU 16164/22) 24-Mar-1982.
  • <S5> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/106G/UK/929 RS 4259-4261 16-OCT-1945 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S6> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1673 RP 3231-3233 28-JUL-1946 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S7> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 25-MAY-2011 ACCESSED 15-MAY-2015 (Digital).

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Mar 11 2016 11:43AM

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