Today we visited the village of Walberswick on the Suffolk coast to test out a heritage walk around the World War Two defences being developed by Dr Rob Liddiard.

During 1940 the beach itself was defended with a minefield, barbed wire, anti tank cubes and ‘dragons teeth’. Most of these have now gone, but on the high ground above the village and the beach there are more tangible traces of the anti-invasion defences.

A good example of a ‘Suffolk Square’ infantry pillbox (top photo) is linked to a rare set of surviving trenches constructed in 1940, and nearby is a very well preserved Observation Post (bottom photo). Both structures overlook Corporation Marshes (below), an area of marshland which was deliberately kept flooded to slow down the progress of a German invasion.

The 2nd/4th South Lancashire Regiment were stationed along this part of the coast until November 1940, after which the defences here were largely abandoned. In places woodland regeneration ensured their survival when other anti-invasion landscapes were being destroyed.

To find out more about the defence of Walberswick in World War Two visit the project website – http://www.walberswickww2.co.uk/


Author: UEA Landscape History

Landscape historians based in the School of History at the University of East Anglia.

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