Sussex Military Research Projects

Minefield fence excavation

Project ID: SMR1025

Location: Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex

Project date: 2016



Project Overview: Cuckmere Haven

Working with the authorities, excavations were conducted at a number of sites in the valley, including pillboxes and anti-tank obstacles.

Description: Survey of a small area on the west side of the Cuckmere River adjacent to a Second World War minefield.

The survey was carried out in order to establish the presence of and record any Second World War features prior to the Environment Agency moving shingle into the area as part of coastal erosion prevention.

The area was largely made up ground from the 20th century, but archive records indicated there had been a minefield laid here in 1940 and cleared by 1945. Evidence of the minefield was uncovered in the form of silent pickets (also known as corkscrew pickets) that supported the perimeter barbed wire fence. Evidence of two corkscrew ends of pickets in situ was excavated, indicating that the removal of the minefield fence entailed cutting the pickets off at ground level.

Photograph gallery