Second World War relic unearthed by storms on Northumberland coast

A Second World War structure uncovered on Lynemouth Beach, near Ashington, appears to be a pillbox

The pillbox on Lynemouth beach which has been uncovered by recent bad weather
The pillbox on Lynemouth beach which has been uncovered by recent bad weather

A relic from the Second World War has emerged from the sands of a Northumberland beach.

The strange structure, which appears to be the remains of a wartime defence similar to a pill box, is thought to have been uncovered by recent storms that have washed away part of the mud and sand cliffs on Lynemouth beach, near Ashington.

Local Mike Cummings found it as he was walking along the coast on Wednesday.

“I suspect recent storms have exposed this out of the mud cliffs,” he said.

“Most pill boxes were built of concrete or brick but if one needed to be built in a hurry , as it appears to have been here, hessian sand bags were filled with concrete and used instead.”

Such defensive structures sprang up at perceived points of weakness along the UK’s coastline during the war amid fears of a German invasion.

They come in a variety of shapes and forms, with examples found over the years that are square, rectangular, hexagonal and beehive, with most of them made from concrete shuttering, such was the ad-hoc manner in which they were hastily constructed.

The North East coast has a number of defensive sites with not gun emplacements, anti-tank blocks and a radar station.

A similar defensive shelter also appeared just three months ago on Bamburgh beach.

Unearthed at the foot of a dune, it was said to be in “excellent condition.”

On that occasion it was revealed by a tidal surge which damaged homes and also re-covered a shipwreck, which is thought to date from around 1768, which had been exposed since the previous spring.

A survey of wartime sites on the county’s coastline was conducted in 2010.

The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership has appealed for information on any other new historical sites exposed by erosion.


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