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Report - - Spurn Point Battery and Pillboxes, Yorkshire, February 2019 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Spurn Point Battery and Pillboxes, Yorkshire, February 2019



HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
1. The History
Spurn point is a narrow sand tidal island, 3.75 miles in length, located off the tip of the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire that reaches into the North Sea and forms the north bank of the mouth of the Humber Estuary. A storm in 2013 made the road down to the end of Spurn impassable by vehicles at high tide. A further storm in February 2017 further damaged the route to the mainland.

Defence installations on the point date back to the Napoleonic Wars. In 1805, at the northern end a gun was established and a more substantial fort and barracks at the southern tip. These were linked by a standard gauge railway line as no roads or tracks existed. At the southern end, the railway ran on to a wooden jetty to allow materials to be unloaded from ships. Concrete sea defences were built to protect the fortifications and railway from coastal erosion. Additionally two river forts at Bull and Haile Sands completed the defensive chain protecting the Humber.

On the declaration of World War One in August 1914 military activity intensified on the point. The village of Kilnsea at the top of the peninsula soon found itself home to a garrison of more than 500 troops. At its height there were about 1,500 personnel on the narrow spit and in nearby Kilnsea. As the war progressed further defences were built along Spurn Point. At the southern end was Green battery and at the northern end, Godwin Battery. Green Battery, named after General Sir William Green, was initially built in 1915 for four 4.7-inch weapons. It was expanded in 1916 when two 9.2" BL Mk10 guns on Mk5 mountings where added. They were mounted in circular concrete pits, with two battery observation posts (BOP) on the extreme left and right of the emplacements.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Godwin battery gained two 12 pounder guns mounted on the beach in front of the battery in event of torpedo-boat attacks. A number of different anti-invasion defences were constructed along the length of the spit including various anti-tank blocks, road and rail blocks, pillboxes, spigot mortars and field guns. Other wartime building work included the construction of a permanent road the length of the spit and a new BOP for the 6" guns.

The Ministry of Defence sold Spurn to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in the 1959. The Godwin battery has subsequently been subject to massive coastal erosion and have toppled onto the beach.

2. The Explore
Have wanted to come here for a while. With the weather forecast to be more late-Spring-like than winter we decided we’d go on a day trip. It was a tight schedule to get over from Sheffield and back in time for tea and so it proved. After a two-hour drive we parked up at the northern end of the spit where the road was shut and started the hour-and-a-half or so hike south. The service road soon gave way to sand, where it got washed away in 2013.

As we were walking an RLNI Land-Rover passed us. Ten minutes later it returned and half-jokingly I stuck my thumb out. The driver duly stopped and we were given a lift the rest of the way, saving us the best part of 45-minutes, which turned a tight schedule into a bit more of a relaxed wander. Once dropped off we checked out a bunker then walked round the head of Spurn point, clockwise, taking in the pillboxes and bunkers. After that we headed inland to check out the battery. It was a lovely day so we had a pic-nic there then walked the 2 miles or so back to the car. Nothing spectacular in terms of what we explored. However, it was more about the overall location and atmosphere of this quite unique place.

3. The Pictures

First bunker we came to:

img9761
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Spurn 01
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Then onwards on to the beach:

img9867
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9774bw
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Pillbox on the beach:

img9787
by HughieDW, on Flickr

WW1/WW2 Blockhouse and observation post:

img9766
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9763
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9789
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9800 - Copy
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9801 - Copy
by HughieDW, on Flickr

More bunkers…filled up with sand:

Spurn 02
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Spurn 03
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Green Battery:

Spurn 05
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Spurn 06
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9825
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9818
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9814
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Spurn 04
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9828
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Main magazine:

img9832
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9830
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Battery engine house. A large flat-roofed brick engine room used to house the engine which powered the searchlights for the Light Temporary Battery during WW2.

img9836
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9838
by HughieDW, on Flickr

by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9808
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Spurn 08
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And that old light house/ex-water tower…gagging to be explored:

img9844
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9848
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Former billet hut-bases(?):

img9809
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Gun emplacement:

img9805
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9806
by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
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