WORLD WAR II ANTI-TANK OBSTACLES ON THE FORESHORE

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1393145

Date first listed: 24-Feb-2009

Statutory Address: WORLD WAR II ANTI-TANK OBSTACLES ON THE FORESHORE

Map

Ordnance survey map of WORLD WAR II ANTI-TANK OBSTACLES ON THE FORESHORE
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Location

Statutory Address: WORLD WAR II ANTI-TANK OBSTACLES ON THE FORESHORE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Medway (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Isle of Grain

National Park: N/A

National Grid Reference: TQ 88497 77380, TQ 88832 77147

Reasons for Designation

A line of World War II anti-tank obstacles to the north of Grain village has been designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* As a particularly extensive and evocative line of anti-tank obstacles stretching for approximately 570m along the coast; * As a group which exhibits various forms of anti-tank obstacle including an unusual form of anti-tank pimple on a concrete sleeper grid, anti-tank cubes and nationally rare caltrops.

Details

ISLE OF GRAIN

1797/0/10017 (North side) 24-FEB-09 WORLD WAR II ANTI-TANK OBSTACLES ON TH E FORESHORE

II Anti-tank obstacles of pimple, cube and caltrop form, circa 1940.

DESCRIPTION: Concrete anti-tank obstacles forming a north-west to south-east line approximately 570m long on the foreshore to the north of Grain village. The line consists of concrete asymmetric anti-tank pimples (truncated pyramids also colloquially known as Dragon's Teeth) in offset rows approximately 1.2m apart. All are fixed to a continuous reinforced concrete grid of sleepers/groins. The pimples increase in height from the outer (seaward facing) examples to the inner (at circa 1.7m tall). There are traces of red paint on the caps of some. Where the rows are complete, there are four pimples to each row but because of the off-set lay-out this creates a barrier eight deep. At the north-west end: double line of anti-tank concrete cubes at right-angles to the main line. At the south-east end: a large pile of anti-tank caltrops hard up against the sea wall. (These are blocks of concrete with four protruding arms so that whichever way up they were placed, one arm always points upwards.) The condition of the defended line is variable: there are two particularly good sections at either end of the line (at the north-western extremity running south-east for approximately 270m plus the return of anti-tank cubes; at the south-eastern end running north-west for approximately 60m including the caltrops), but the central section has been disturbed by tidal action and coastal erosion. This has resulted in the loss, damage and burial of some elements such that this section is no longer complete and is therefore not considered of special interest although the remains have some value as part of the larger defensive group. HISTORY: These anti-tank obstacles were erected circa 1940 as part of the anti-invasion defences for the Grain peninsula, Kent. This line fills a gap between the mostly northerly extent of the Grain village sea wall and the Grain and Lea marshes to the north-west. The beach at Grain was perceived as a possible attractive landing place and the line was intended, in this eventuality, to prevent enemy armoured vehicles from heading in-land. Tactically their purpose was to prevent enemy progress but in the event that an enemy vehicle did attempt to drive across an obstacle, its vulnerable underside would be exposed to defensive fire.

SOURCES: Saunders, A & Smith, V, Kent's Defence Heritage, Kent County Council, p82 and gazetteer (site reference KD201)(2001) Smith, V, Front-Line Kent, p98 and gazetteer (2003) Defence of Britain Project Database site reference S0010737 at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/collections/blurbs/324.cfm

REASON FOR DESIGNATION: The line of World War II anti-tank obstacles to the north of Grain village is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* As a particularly extensive and evocative line of anti-tank obstacles stretching for approximately 570m along the coast; * As a group which exhibits various forms of anti-tank obstacles including an unusual form of anti-tank pimple on a concrete sleeper grid, anti-tank cubes and nationally rare caltrops.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 503999

Legacy System: LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Saunders, A, Smith, V, Kent's Defence Heritage, (2001), 82
Smith, V , Front Line Kent, (2003), 98

End of official listing