MDE11237 - Possible World War Two defences at the northern end of Martinhoe Common (Monument)


A pair of parallel banks, visible on aerial photographs, may be part of a World War Two defence system, such as anti glider obstructions. They were no longer evident on the ground during field investigation in 1993.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 6735 4823. A pair of short parallel banks are visible on air photos. They are thought to be the course of a possible trackway. [1-3] The banks are clearly visible on the 1979 NMR aerial photograph. [4] This feature is situated at the northern end of Martinhoe Common, an area of open moorland until it was ploughed and converted to grass in 1945. The remains of these banks are just discernible as 2 faint, slightly converging lines of denser cropmark in a pasture field. The banks, 30 metres to 46 metres long, are both about 2 metres wide and no more than 0.2 metres high at best and are some 6 metres apart. These banks, and a similar pair on the ground at SS 6767 4787, appear to be part of a series of about 9 visible on aerial photographs, from SS 6725 4849 s to SS 6766 4755, though these are no longer evident on the ground. No local information was gained as to their purpose, but it is possible that they were part of a wartime defence system such as anti glider obstructions. No survey action. [6] A pair of approximately parallel banks are visible on aerial photographs from the 1940s as earthworks on the northeast of Martinhoe Common, at SS 6735 4823. They are not visible on later photographs, nor could they be located by ground survey, suggesting they have been destroyed by ploughing or similar activity. A similar pair of banks at SS 6767 4787 have now been recorded separately, as have individual banks of similar construction in the area. [3,4,7-8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS6748d.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3159, 3160 (11 July 1946).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR SS6748:sf 1459/441 (1 March 1979).
  • <4> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. CJ Dunn, personal communication, 6 December 1988.
  • <5> Monograph: Bridle, H.. 1991. Woody Bay. Finial Publishing. P.86.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 7 June 1993.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF/106G/UK/1501, 4367 (May 1946).
  • <8>XY Archive: Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme: SS 64 NE. MD002172. [Mapped feature: #37905 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 6735 4823 (72m by 38m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS64NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17940
  • Devon SMR: SS64NE/54
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20554
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO322
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NE65
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 915567

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:01PM


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