Walberswick – Coastal Defences

A project by UEA’s Virtual Past team has received a highly commended award at the British Archeaological Awards. The project involved the digital reconstruction of World War Two defences in and around the Suffolk village of Walberswick.

During the threat of German invasion in 1940, hundreds of miles of Britain’s beaches were sealed off and fortified with barbed wire, gun emplacements and more. Many of these features have since been obscured or destroyed by later developments, and the Walberswick project aims to reconstruct and understand the impact that these defences had on the landscape in the 1940s.


The results of the project have been put online at http://www.walberswickww2.co.uk/. The website has videos of the 3D reconstructions, maps, downloads, teaching packs and more detailed information about the academic research that underpinned the project.

Dr Rob Liddiard, Senior Lecturer in Landscape History, picked up the award on behalf of the team at the British Archaeological Awards last month. Rob said ‘We were delighted to receive this award, as a substantial amount of research was undertaken by the team to inform the accuracy of the reconstruction of this site including earthwork survey, excavation and aerial photography. It is fantastic that our work has been commended, particularly at such a highly regarded archaeological event’.

Virtual Past is a collaboration between the School of History and the School of Computing at UEA, which has produced 3D digital models of a number of historic buildings and landscapes – see more on their website.