Winterton’s Beach Defences

Spigot Mortar Base

This spigot mortar base can be found on the beach at Winterton and would most probably have been originally located on the cliff or at least above the high water mark. However, it is now most definitely on the beach and gives us a fantastic insight into what the concrete base (normally buried ) actually looks like. Notice that the stainless steel mount on the top is still in good condition even though the structure regularly gets covered by the sea.

Spigot Mortar Base located on the beach at Winterton.

Spigot Mortar Base located on the beach at Winterton.

Nearby some `concrete` that had been `autographed` whilst it was still wet back in WWII. It has two names etcehd into the concrete: PTE D. WELLS 18.9.41 & PTE. RUSSELL 1941

Nearby some `concrete` that had been `autographed` whilst it was still wet back in WWII. It has two names etched into the concrete: PTE D. WELLS 18.9.41 & PTE. RUSSELL 1941

Winterton was the site of a six inch gun battery in WW 2 using two Navy gun left over from WW 1 there was also batteries at Great Yarmouth to the south and Mundesley to the north. Not only was this part of the coast considered quite a high risk due to it facing towards occupied Europe but a series of sand banks off the coast made ideal channels of deep sheltered water for an invasion force to launch from.

There is no longer any sign of the Yarmouth batteries but the original base for the Winterton battery is now used as the foundation for a hotel called the Hermanus Holiday center grid reference TG 49-7 19-5.

I have had a chance to look around the hotel and there are a few signs still about – an old air vent that seem to serve no function to the modern hotel but the most exciting thing is a bar in the cellar of the hotel which I believe by the nature of its construction uses some of the original underground chambers of the battery though I can not at this time confirm this.

The site at Mundesley is still very complete and although you can no longer access the under ground chambers (They were bricked up about ten years ago the structures above ground are very intact the bolt stubs on the two gun mounts can be seen and with little work could soon be made to serve there original purpose again.

This battery is located at map No. 133 TG 31-4 36-8 behind a large disused hotel (which of interest was used by the gun crew in the war).

Rumour has it that during the day the German Air-force used the Pleasure Beach Roller Coaster in Great Yarmouth as a landmark to then fly to Norwich and bomb the Railway sidings. This became a problem after an amount of daytime raids. However, it was decided that when night time bombing started that the Germans should be helped to not bomb Norwich. Winterton was set up as a night time decoy to serve as Great Yarmouth and outside Norwich, Bramerton was set up as a decoy for the railway sidings.

Winterton Beach Defences, Norfolk by Steven Parsons

OS 134 / TG 4990 – 1980

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