Gun Emplacement

Back Coast Path, Thorpeness Common, Thorepness, Suffolk

Square concrete emplacement for single artily piece used to fire onto Sizewell beach.

Despite the importance of artillery in the defence of the coastline, archaeological survivals of gun emplacements are rare. One such example of a concrete emplacement is to be found at Thorpeness This was the position for an 18-pounder field gun which was placed here so that it could fire on Sizewell beach. The emplacement was built in May or early June 1940 when the gun itself was moved to Thorpeness from Kessingland, further to the north. This was one of five lone guns (either 18 pounders or 4-inch ex Naval guns) that were placed along vulnerable parts of the Suffolk coast and sited so they could fire directly onto the beaches. The one at Thorpeness was nick-named ‘John’, the others were ‘Matthew’, ‘Mark’, ‘Luke’ and ‘St Peter’. The emplacement itself is of simple design, but the existence of an RSJ in the middle is a mystery. It sits at an unusual angle and it is not clear if this was part of the original design or an unsuccessful attempt at removal.

Turn on JavaScript to display the map

Show slideshow