Defence of Britain Project

Home Guard patrol, Britain 1940 Defence of Britain recording form The Defence of Britain Project, which ran from April 1995 to March 2002 under the auspices of the CBA, is now completed. In that time, nearly 20,000 twentieth century military sites in the United Kingdom were recorded by an army of some 600 volunteers. The purpose of the Project was to record the 20th century militarised landscape of the United Kingdom, and to inform the responsible heritage agencies at both local and national level with a view to the future preservation of surviving structures.

The Defence of Britain databases developed by the project were created from field and documentary work carried out between April 1995 and December 2001. Following completion of the Defence of Britain Project in 2002, and using the records it generated, the CBA undertook a study of ‘defence areas’ in England (with funding from English Heritage). This project resulted in extensive revisions and additions to the original Defence of Britain database. This database, along with all the rest of the project archive, can now be searched via the Archaeology Data Service.

Please note that the Defence of Britain archive is now fixed and will not be updated further, although the Defence of Britain project data has been distributed to the National Monuments Records and local Sites & Monuments Records (or Historic Environment Records) throughout the UK and will be updated through their systems in the future. Any suggested corrections or updates to the archive should now be made by approaching these bodies directly.

For England, they can be found via Heritage Gateway and the NMR. The Welsh SMR databases are held by the four Archaeological Trusts. The Welsh and Scottish NMR holders are the Royal Commissions.

The Defence of Britain Project was administered by the CBA and funded by the Department of National Heritage (now DCMS) and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The CBA published a number of books as a result of the Defence of Britain project. Visit our publications section for a full list of these.

The old Defence of Britain project webpages can be accessed here.