Monument record STN 098 - Second World War spigot mortar emplacement

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A Second World War spigot mortar emplacement survives as an earthwork and structure on the southern bank of the Little Ouse. It may be visible as an earthwork pit or as a rectilinear embanked enclosure on imagery from a lidar survey flown in 2015. Together with a second emplacement 135m to the east (STN 097), it guarded a river crossing.


Grid reference Centred TL 8245 8728 (28m by 27m)
Map sheet TL88NW


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

On S bank of Little Ouse river, some 60m from a track/footbridge over the river at the Forestry Commission's St. Helen's picnic site at Santon, near Santon Downham. Steel mortar mount pin on 6-sided pillar a metre high surrounded by wall 0.3m thick and a metre high [see PLAN]. Full of water and covered with vegetation. Sited, with adjacent spigot mortar emplacement, to guard what was then a ford over the river.

July 2017. 'Brecks from Above' and Breckland National Mapping Programme.
The Second World War spigot mortar emplacement described above could equate with one of two features identified on imagery from a recent lidar survey (S2). One, at TL 8244 8727, is a small circular pit, measuring approximately 4m in diameter. It is similar those recorded to the east, as STN 097 and STN 143; the former, at least, is likely to be the site of a second spigot mortar emplacement. The other feature visible on the lidar, at TL 8254 8727, is a small, broadly rectilinear embanked enclosure. The latter may be visible as an earthwork on an aerial photograph taken in 1947 (S3) as well as on the lidar. Neither feature is visible at the location recorded above, lying 15m and 17.5m respectively to the southwest and southeast, so it is also possible that neither corresponds to the remains recorded by the earlier field visit, although a Second World War date seems probable for the enclosure at least. The monument polygon defining the site has been expanded to include both the originally recorded location and the two features identified on the lidar.
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 17th July 2017.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Digital archive: Defence of Britain Project archive. UORN: S0006455.
  • <S2> LIDAR Airborne Survey: LIDAR airborne survey. LIDAR Santon Forest Research 0.5m DTM 15-JUL-2015 (BNG Project, FC England, Fugro Geospatial).
  • <S3> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/CPE/UK/2021 RP 3067-3068 21-APR-1947 (HEA Original Print).

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Mar 4 2019 1:26PM

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