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HER Number:MDV126359
Name:Hollicombe Beach Defence Area, Torbay


Hollicombe Beach was designated a classified beach during the Second World War, potentially vulnerable to landing by German invasion forces.


Grid Reference:SX 898 621
Map Sheet:SX86SE
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishCOCKINGTON
Ecclesiastical ParishPAIGNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DEFENDED LOCALITY (Designated, World War II - 1940 AD to 1940 AD)

Full description

Foot, W., 2005, Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England, DA64 (Report - Survey). SDV360266.

Following the retreat of the British Army from Dunkirk, a series of defence works was constructed across mainland Britain in 1940 to protect against a possible German invasion. Hollicombe Beach was designated a classified beach, considered to be vulnerable to a German landing and was defended by infantry troops and the Home Guard from the autumn of 1940 through to 1941.
The defence works comprised a number of pillboxes which were built on the cliff tops and on the railway embankment. Within the defence perimeter was Hollicombe Gas Works. The gas holders and other buildings were camouflaged against air attack.
The gas works have since been demolished and replaced by a park in 1979, although one of the gas holders still stands. One of the pillboxes that stood close by the railway has also been demolished.
Despite the fact that this is a small area with few surviving defence works, Hollicombe Beach can nevertheless be considered of national importance. It illustrates well the perceived need for beach defences even where backed by cliffs and also shows how defence works can survive in a built-up environment.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV360266Report - Survey: Foot, W.. 2005. Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England. Council for British Archaeology/English Heritage. Digital. DA64. [Mapped feature: #119569 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV55647Parent of: Defence structure above the tunnel entrance to Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)
MDV55644Parent of: Pillbox above Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)
MDV55646Parent of: Pillbox at northern end of Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)
MDV126387Parent of: Pillbox at southern end of Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)
MDV55645Parent of: Railway guardhouse above Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)
MDV105244Parent of: Rocket battery platform on Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)
MDV44717Related to: Hollicombe Gas Works, Paignton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 30 2019 12:39PM