Treasure trove of WW2 rubble found on beach visited by millions every year

Crosby Beach in Merseyside attracts millions of visitors every year to make the most of its idyllic atmosphere, fantastic views and unique Iron Men statues.

But what many people don't know is that the beach is a treasure trove of wartime history.

A 21-year-old archaeology student uncovered over a mile of rubble left over from the bombings to Liverpool during the Second World War, The Liverpool Echo reports.

Emma Marsh, from Manchester, first found out about the site when she received a phone call from her family who were walking along the beach.

She said: "My family were walking the dog along the beach and they came across all the rubble.

"They phoned me and said 'you have to come and see this place it's amazing.'"

When she returned to the beach with her family, Emma found hundreds of bricks, stones and ceramics strewn across the sand – the remains of buildings devastated by the bombings.

For seven nights between 1 May and 7 May 1941, Liverpool was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe, killing and injuring thousands of people and destroying homes, shops and landmarks.

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After making the discovery, Emma became determined to find out more about the former buildings behind the rubble.

She said: "I've never seen anything like it, it was amazing.

"There's so much brick in between bricks and different pieces of ceramic and tableware. I measured it when I did a survey and it goes on for 2.2km.

"I told my lecturer and he said 'you've really got something here. Definitely take it seriously.'

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"I knew I was going to do my dissertation on it and I set up a social media account."

Outside of London, Liverpool was the most heavily bombed city during the Blitz, and the city was faced with the problem of what to do with all the rubble left behind.

Much of it is thought to have been transported to the beach for use in sea defences, and has since been uncovered.

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Emma has found fragments of gravestones, Victorian fireplaces and ceramics which date back to the Georgian period.

After taking to Twitter, she managed to trace some of its origins, from houses and buildings to gravestones.

Emma said: "I found pieces of a Victorian fireplace, that was a really great find.

"It would have been before there was electric or central heating.

"There's also rubble that was dumped at the site in the 70s, so it's not all rubble from WW2."

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Among the bricks, one building Emma has managed to trace the rubble back to is Brunswick Wesleyan Methodist Church in Islington.

She said: "I found a gravestone and I used Ancestry to search the names of the people to work out where they were buried.

"It was Wesleyan Methodist Church which was severely damaged in WW2 and what was left of it burnt down as a result of a fire in the 60's."

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Emma said it has been "a huge community effort" researching where the bricks have come from.

She said: "People will message me and say 'my granddad has these old books and he thinks he recognises that', or 'I think I've seen part of this pattern in this place.'

"They're really helpful people who are really interested in it."

After finishing university, Emma said she hoped to continue with her project and publish the conclusions from her dissertation so the public can access it.

She is also keen for signs to be put up at the beach to teach people about the history they are walking on.

Emma said: "People are stepping on the rubble without realising what it is.

"I had to research it to find out what it was. There's no signage at the moment to tell people.

"I'm always telling people you really need to go to live through history."

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