Monument record ARG 032 - Two World War II strongpoints on Thorpeness Common. (Mod)

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Two World War II strongpoints on Thorpeness Common, Aldringham cum Thorpe


Grid reference Centred TM 47570 60703 (265m by 708m)
Map sheet TM46SE


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Two strongpoints are visible as structures and earthworks on aerial photographs from 1940 onwards, centred on TM47646056. The northernmost of the two is centred on TM47646065, where a pillbox and two slit trenches are located upon a slight bank, probably an old field boundary, set just back from the cliff. It is surrounded on the west by two barbed wire entanglements that are triangular in plan, by a length barbed wire immediately to the west that continues along the cliffs for approximately 300m, and on the beach by a 'D' shaped obstruction. A slit trench is set someway back from the main area of this strongpoint, at circa TM47446068, that may have acted as a bomb shelter for the personnel stationed here. The remains of this pillbox are still visible on 1969 photography, and it is marked on the base map. In 1940 to 1942 photography the strongpoint to the south is centred on a pillbox at circa TM47646041. However, in 1945 the pillbox has fallen from the cliff edge, probably due to cliff erosion, and has settled on the beach. It appears to have been removed by 1952. There may be a disguised second structure at circa TM47646044, but this cannot be identified with any certainty, and it is not visible in photographs of 1945. A series of slit trenches and weapons pits are located in the southern half of the strongpoint. A possible earthwork emplacement is visible on the cliff edge just to the north of this strongpoint, at circa TM47646050, but it is not possible to be certain from the photographs available whether it is military in nature or not. (S1-S6).
Also seen as part of field survey of Suffolk Coast - spread of concrete boulders and rubble including bonded blockwork seen on beach. Possibly from old pillbox on cliff edge. Also large open front block house - concrete block built. No firing points and no roof. Large curved girder inside - searchlight housing? (S7). The latter also probably the structure described in (S8) as a 1940 recorded gun emplacement for a 4" gun called 'John'.

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <S1> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 2/BR11/14 9-11 08-Jul-1940.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 2A/BR167 13-15 17-Dec-1941.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF AC/59 112-114 19-Jun-1942.
  • <S4> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/929 4258-4259 16-Oct-1945.
  • <S5> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 540/705 5468-5469 09-Apr-1952.
  • <S6> Photograph: OS, AP. NMR OS/69070 10-11 05-Apr-1969.
  • <S7> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. 2003. Assessment Report, Rapid Field Survey of the Suffolk Coast and Intertidal Zone. Everett 2003.
  • <S8> Unpublished document: David Sims. 2006. The military defence of a section of the Suffolk Coastline 1939 to 1942. Figs 22-23, photo, plan, elevation.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Sep 20 2014 1:10PM

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