Second World War barricade found off Chichester coast

A coastal barricade dating back as far as the Second World War has been found by a fisherman.

Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 12:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 5:17 pm
The defences back in 1944

Steve Ansell, from Waterlooville, was looking for good angling spots on Google Earth when he spotted something he didn't recognise.

He said: "At first I thought this was a rock formation, but when zooming in, it became obvious that it was some sort of structure or wreck. As I have a small fishing boat in Sparks Marina, I took a trip out to the mark, which is in seven feet of water at high tide, but just proud of the water at very low tides."

Steve and his friend took some under water footage using a waterproof camera. He said the tide was too strong to get steady footage, but that it proved the barricade was there and 'not just a glitch' on Google Maps. Steve added he has spoken to a number of organisations who said the find had been previously unknown to them.

The defences back in 1944

Steve's friend Lee offered his services as a qualified drone pilot to film high definition footage and pictures. Following a month of research into the find, it is believed the barricade is approximately 70 meters of 'Obstacle Z1/ Admiralty Scaffolding' which was used in the event of the enemy invading Great Britain via the West Sussex coast.

Chairman of Chichester Local History Society, Phillip Robinson said: "Its basic significance is that it is an awful memory of how close we were to being invaded — Fortunately we didn't need to use them.

"I'm constantly excited and amazed by findings like these and I'm in awe of our predecessors and their courage and imagination."

Chichester Harbour Master, Richard Craven said people sailing in the harbour would not be affected by the barricade by keeping to the main navigation channels.

Fisherman Steve Ansell first spotted the barricade on Google Earth

Richard added: "These things turn up from time to time. There's quite a few remnants of World War Two in the harbour and they do come to life.

"We will be going out at low tide to look at it."

A birds-eye view of the barricade, picture by Lee Bellson
The barricade, picture by Lee Bellson