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Spurn Point – Godwin Battery and Murray's Post – Nov 2012

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Munchh

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The shingle and sand peninsula changes position and shape in a cycle due to tidal forces. The rapid erosion rate on this entire coast is alarming. A fuller explanation of the 'science' of Spurn is given in Jan Crowther's book 'The People along the sand'.

Spurn is already an evocative place by virtue of it's itinerant nature. Add to this WW1 and WW2 remains gradually crumbling into the Sea, or being swallowed in sand, both above and below ground, and you've got a great day's exploring ahead.

I was in the good company of Rich Cooper, my host and guide for the weekend. Rich will add some of his own pics later. Having been here several times before, Rich's knowledge of the area made easy work of locating the various treasures although he was to be twice surprised by finds he'd missed out on previously for one reason or another. Rich's previous reports can be found on the WW2 defences section here.

We looked at the whole area from Kilnsea and the Godwin Battery right down the 3 ½ mile long peninsula which narrows to around 50 yards in places and tenuously separates the Humber from the North Sea.

We visited on the eve of the Armistice which remained in my thoughts throughout the day particularly at sunset.


Pillbox – Lozenge e02903

At a bend in Easington Road near Kilnsea and slowly collapsing into the river estuary.

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Accompanied by several of these;

Anti Tank cylinders – e09092

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'Murray's' Post – Redoubt or Infantry Post e02355

A garrisoned stronghold and part of the outer landward defences for the Godwin Battery. Included a fighting and communications trench system running due east from the post for 150 yards which looks to have had concrete lined sections. In the post itself, the lower section is flooded some 3 feet deep and the concrete canopy above the firing positions has cracked and fallen or, more accurately, dropped a few feet in places.

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Following the trench back leads to a brick-lined tunnel (at 53.623281°, 0.138533°) giving access to the Battery, sadly completely flooded.

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Godwin Battery – e07062 – Coast Artillery Battery, part destroyed

“Important coastal battery, named in honour of Major General Godwin, constructed in 1914 to strengthen the outer defences of the Humber and house two Mk.IV guns on Mk.V mountings. The Battery was protected by a sea wall 300yds long around the site to protect from the advancing sea. Behind this two 9.2”BL guns were mounted in circular concrete pits c 100yds apart. Between the guns were the underground magazine, crew shelters and workshops, the magazine roof being 5ft thick. On the right and left of the battery were two battery observation posts, one housing a rangefinder; both had defensive blockhouses built into their base. The barracks were substantially constructed of brick and concrete, and included a guard house, officers’ quarters and a hospital. The defensive measures taken to protect the battery included a 6’ wall enclosing the landward perimeter while the seaward side was surrounded by a network of fire trenches and a 20ft ditch filled with barbed wire. Further protection was given by a large concrete blockhouse situated on the beach and a redoubt (‘Murrays Post’) on the rising ground to the NW. Another feature was the terminus of the Spurn Point railway. Godwin Battery remained active after the war and was used for a number of purposes including Territorial Army training. It was put back to full strength with the advent of WW2. Close defence was provided by a 4” BL Mk. 9 gun to the S of the right hand BOP, together with a single 90cm Coastal Artillery Searchlight. In 1940 half inch thick armoured plate anti-strafing shields were built around the two main guns. At the end of 1944 the 9.2” guns were removed and the battery placed in care and maintenance. In 1959 the site was put up for sale and became a caravan site. The gun pits have been filled in, although their aprons survive; the BOPs have both been demolished. In 1992 the site was still in generally good condition, although the hospital building had been demolished, but was at risk from coastal erosion. By 1995, the sea wall had been virtually destroyed by wave action, as had the strongpoint, CASL and 4” BL emplacement. The gun aprons had both collapsed, half lying on the beach, half on the cliff top but highly unstable. In January 2007, the majority of the monument had either collapsed, been demolished, or rested on the beach, with little other than the magazines and part of a gun position in an original location, although the remains were very substantial. More of the monument, including the second magazine and gun position had collapsed by 2009, but the solid nature of the concrete structures is likely to resist erosion for many years. Demolished ancillary buildings continue to erode from the ciff between the former gun positions and to the immediate south.” - Source English Heritage document “Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey, Bempton to Donna Nook”

Four images from Jan Crowther's book 'The people along the sand'

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Godwin 1917

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Murray's Post can be seen NW of the Battery

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The area 2008

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South Gun Emplacement

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This was once attached to the magazines, workshops and shelters now resting on the beach below

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North Gun emplacement

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Magazine

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You really can't appreciate the scale of this Battery from pics, you need to go there. It's sister Battery, Spurn Fort and two other Batteries will be covered in subsequent threads.
 

night crawler

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Excellent report as usual, how to spoil a coastline, stick a static caravan park on it :mad:, shame that was not swept out to sea and not the battery. Some great photo's there.:)
 

magmo

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I was up there some time ago and saw most of what you have posted. You can see why there is so much there as if you landed at Spurn point you just have to drive strait down the road, easy access. That road get washed away quite often, I wonder how much longer it will all be there, I agree the caravan park spoils a very lovely place.
 

scribble

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It's a long time since I've been but it was an incredible place.
 

Munchh

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I was up there some time ago and saw most of what you have posted. You can see why there is so much there as if you landed at Spurn point you just have to drive strait down the road, easy access. That road get washed away quite often, I wonder how much longer it will all be there, I agree the caravan park spoils a very lovely place.

Yes it's had it's share of memorable breaches for sure and too big an explore to cover in one report so more will follow.

It's a long time since I've been but it was an incredible place.

First time I've been mate, but Rich has had me interested in Spurn for a while now.

Such wonderful concrete goodness to go with my bacon and eggs on a Sunday morning.A shame I couldn't be with you but the photos make it seem as though I'm there,cheers buddy:)

Thanks, maybe next time?, plenty of room in the car ;)
 

TeeJF

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Oh you boys and your concrete porn! ;)

I always wondered what was on Spurn Point cos you can see some stuff on Googly Earth. There's a big, off shor4e battery on stilts there too is there not? I always fancied a trip out to that.

Good stuff, well done!
 

RichCooper

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Oh you boys and your concrete porn! ;)

I always wondered what was on Spurn Point cos you can see some stuff on Googly Earth. There's a big, off shor4e battery on stilts there too is there not? I always fancied a trip out to that.

Good stuff, well done!

Theres 2 offshore forts there not on stilts though if we ever get chance to get out there i'll let you know :)
 

TeeJF

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Hmmmm... I knew about the Redsands forts, in fact I tried to get a trip out to them organised but gave up when I found out that they won't allow people to land on them at the moment. I had it in my head that the one(s) near Spurn Point were also on stilts but now you mention it I'm not so sure. I think one of our subscribers tried to get a group together about 18 months ago to do a trip out but despite numerous people bombarding his posting with affirmatives, on the day there were not enough to make it worth while and it was dropped. I think he was rather p*ssed off about it too, and understandably!

If anyone is getting a trip together for the Spurn Point ones please let me know as we'd love to do it if I am not working.

Thanks all.
 

Munchh

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Hmmmm... I knew about the Redsands forts, in fact I tried to get a trip out to them organised but gave up when I found out that they won't allow people to land on them at the moment. I had it in my head that the one(s) near Spurn Point were also on stilts but now you mention it I'm not so sure. I think one of our subscribers tried to get a group together about 18 months ago to do a trip out but despite numerous people bombarding his posting with affirmatives, on the day there were not enough to make it worth while and it was dropped. I think he was rather p*ssed off about it too, and understandably!

If anyone is getting a trip together for the Spurn Point ones please let me know as we'd love to do it if I am not working.

Thanks all.

Will keep you in the loop if it comes off ;)
 

steve2109

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Damn that was impressive, great pics and a great history, never tire of reading things like that, thanks
 
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