Anti-Tank Pillboxes

Back South Beach, Heacham, Norfolk

Pair of modified Type 28 anti-tank pillboxes that blocked the exit from Heacham south beach.

The national survey of the coastline that took place in the summer of 1940 identified Heacham as particularly vulnerable to assault because tanks could be landed directly onto the beach. This tactical appreciation was probably responsible for some formidable anti-tank defences, some of which are still in place.

Guarding the beach exit are two Type 28 anti-tank pillboxes designed to accommodate a two-pounder anti-tank gun. One has its embrasure blocked, while the other is fully open. This latter example is modified to incorporate a separate chamber, probably to house a Bren gun. Both pillboxes are angled so they cover the approach inland from the beach where a bridge crosses the Heacham river. A series of concrete anti-tank blocks survive to one side of the bridge and the sockets for the placement of steel rails can still be seen. A spigot mortar was added to the defences in 1941 and the pedestal can be seen next to one of the pillboxes. The pair of pillboxes are so large that they have an air of the Atlantic Wall about them; unlike so many 1940 defences, here the workmanship was of exceptionally high standard.

Turn on JavaScript to display the map

Show slideshow