Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

WW2 Beach Defences, Charmouth, Dorset

These anti-tank blocks are the remains of extensive coastal defences during WW2. Called Dragon's Teeth, they were linked together with metal poles to form a barrier along the beach. Only these two remain, although there were some forty odd strung along the beach of the river valley.

This was an exciting and unexpected find, as I had no idea they were until a visit in 2009. The sockets for the poles are still clearly visible and, much to my delight, give them cute and comical faces!

I only took four photos at the time but have added more from a recent return visit in July 2011, and a walk along the river from the bridge towards the blocks revealed some more interesting bits and pieces.

A concrete edge and some hard standing beneath the later car park tarmac, below, may have nothing to do with WW2. However, a short walk further on revealed something rather interesting.

Metal poles fixed at angles into concrete bases, holding bales of barbed wire in the cross pieces, were often used for beach defences, and this lump of concrete embedded with pieces of rusted metal could possibly be one of the remains. These are on the town side, therefore it makes sense that it would be defended from attack along the river.

Some small concrete blocks with rusty chains embedded in the top have been put near the anti-tank blocks since my last visit. I don't think they're anything to do with WW2 and are probably discarded car park barriers.

The cliff in the background is called cain's Folly. During WW2 there was a radar station situated there, but unfortunately it was built too near to the cliff edge and during May 1942 a landslip occured, sending a building plus three lorries 50 ft below. The generator house slid down later.

Another small block, below, and a drain cover...which has nothing to do with anything, but it looks quite old and I rather like it. ;)

Finally, another view from my original visit, with a row of funky huts in the background which have since been moved to the sea front.

These and a few more pics can be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

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