Spurn Point, Humberside, February 2019

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HughieD

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
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:

47180349282_bb94b3cba4_b.jpg img9761 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40286547823_2e7d0ccf10_b.jpg Spurn 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Then onwards on to the beach:

47189739092_da14136f02_b.jpg img9867 by HughieDW, on Flickr

33356713998_57004dae6f_b.jpg img9774bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Pillbox on the beach:

46509007294_741a46bc13_b.jpg img9787 by HughieDW, on Flickr

WW1/WW2 Blockhouse and observation post:

32290376717_7edf1da4af_b.jpg img9766 by HughieDW, on Flickr

46317997155_67b09cf673_b.jpg img9763 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47232487231_a6d3b807e8_b.jpg img9789 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47180468632_550eec8860_b.jpg img9800 - Copy by HughieDW, on Flickr

More bunkers…

40267510523_1b90e66e83_b.jpg img9801 - Copy by HughieDW, on Flickr

Filled up with sand:

47199447482_510429e1b3_b.jpg Spurn 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47199444422_053716824b_b.jpg Spurn 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Green Battery:

33375569788_2cd60b876e_b.jpg Spurn 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

46336914645_f7c5c34dbe_b.jpg Spurn 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40267796393_a1d91a033a_b.jpg img9825 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40267598883_a41fd5d3d6_b.jpg img9818 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40267620043_915afbd598_b.jpg img9814 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40286535963_0f5fd3ecd6_b.jpg Spurn 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47199422172_495ef730ae_b.jpg Spurn 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47180714492_0dfb57fd44_b.jpg img9828 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Main magazine:

47232805661_c39755d812_b.jpg img9832 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40267767623_14906d7964_b.jpg 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.

40270821503_d5cfb093f7_b.jpg img9836 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47235768611_cfe1d438a6_b.jpg img9838 by HughieDW, on Flickr

33359978658_c74ee13ea5_b.jpg img9837 by HughieDW, on Flickr

32290627167_dd6df11244_b.jpg img9808 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47199416382_488a5342b4_b.jpg Spurn 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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

46512176224_e5f1dbe462_b.jpg img9844 by HughieDW, on Flickr

47235721261_22d7e43a8e_b.jpg img9848 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Former billet hut-bases(?):

46509199494_013072bf5c_b.jpg img9809 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Gun emplacement:

32290659617_aa83e1b665_b.jpg img9805 by HughieDW, on Flickr

40267664913_22b62f488a_b.jpg img9806 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

woody65

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Are people still in the houses? And is the cafe still open?
 

BikinGlynn

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Thats superb as always H, some great perspective shots which I love (the B & W really works). Just proving that u dant have to find stuff packed full of artefacts all the time to make an interesting post
 

Mikeymutt

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That's brilliant hughie..that light house is so lovely..there is a lot of bits too see.and I would love to visit this.the setting looks really nice
 
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