Project ID: SMR1050
Location: Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex
Project date: 2022
Working with the authorities, excavations were conducted at a number of sites in the valley, including pillboxes and anti-tank obstacles.
Description: Sussex MR guided a group of young enthusiasts around Cuckmere Haven, highlighting the military use of the area from Napoleonic times.
Our group was from the Young Archaeologists' Club (YAC) at Brighton, who asked us to introduce them to the rich military heritage that the Cuckmere Valley has to offer.
The day began with an examination of the landscape and how the military defences fitted into it. The group eagerly explored all the pillboxes and learned about the importance of the Second World War trenches and earthworks that are often overlooked. The graffiti in some of the anti-tank dragon's teeth was of particular interest and provided a fascinating insight to the people who actually built these defences back in 1940.
A Spitifre passing overhead caused some excitement as our young archaeologists learned all about the 1942 bombing decoy in the valley to confuse enemy aircraft. A session about map regression by the site of the Napoleonic barracks showed how the landscape had changed from an older conflict.
A discussion of some of our archaeological excavations in the valley ended the tour and a happy group began the walk back towards the ice cream van... It was a very successful day and the feedback received was that this had been "the best YAC session yet!"