BUILDERS working on a new supermarket were surprised to find a set of Second World War anti-tank defences buried underground.

More than 100 large blocks were uncovered at the site of the new Lidl.

The objects were installed during the war to stop German forces landing on British beaches and advancing inland.

One has now been put on display at the Barnfield Road site in Chichester as a memorial.

Historian John Wells said: “During the war, these blocks would have been positioned about three feet apart in a continuous line along the top of the beach to stop enemy tanks in the event of an invasion.

“At the end of the war in 1945, many of these blocks were removed and buried in disused gravel pits around Chichester where they were often forgotten about.”

Chichester district councillor Susan Taylor said: “The fact that these blocks have been uncovered after all these years is incredible.

“They have a fascinating story to tell about the events that took place here.”

Mike Nuttall from developers Brookhouse Group says, “We were amazed to discover these blocks during the construction of the new Lidl store.

“We are always keen to preserve such artefacts within our developments where possible.

“One of the blocks will be placed in a prominent position on site for residents and store users to enjoy and reflect upon the historic events that these blocks were associated with.”