MMO2271 - World War Two military training earthworks on Tarr Ball Hill (Monument)

Summary

Numerous small pits, slit trenches, areas of surface disturbance and possible mounds, visible as earthworks, tracks, possible erosion and parchmarks on aerial photographs of the 1940s, indicate that military training activities took place here.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Numerous small pits, slit trenches, areas of surface disturbance and possible mounds, visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s as earthworks, tracks, possible erosion and parchmarks, indicate that military training activities took place on Tarr Ball Hill, Luccombe parish, during the Second World War. The activity covers an area of over 50 hectares stretching from Tarr Ball Hill in the north to Thurley Combe in the south, centred on approximately SS 8666 4307. Although the precise nature of the training which took place is not known, activity on this site is clearly zoned into three distinct areas. To the west of the road from Porlock post to Pool Farm, two irregular rows of small roughly circular pits or areas of wear are visible, between 150 and 220 metres apart. The rows are aligned on the road, roughly north-east to south west. Tracks or surface wear between the rows indicate that the circular pits or areas of wear were paired and connected by whatever activity occurred between them. To the east of the road, the activity is split into two zones. To the south, above Dady Combe, the activity remains characterised by numerous roughly circular features similar to those described above. Some are scattered apparently randomly over the rough pasture while others are aligned in rows along the field boundaries. The remainder are clustered in groups of three to seven, with larger areas of wear or low earthworks apparently as foci. At least two small v-shaped slit trenches are also visible in this area. The final features of note in this area are small oblong features approximately 3.5 by 1.5 metres in length. They are arranged in three rows, aligned northeast to southwest, and are reminiscent of pits recorded on Malmesmead Hill and Shilstone Hill, although significantly smaller. To the north of this area in the third zone of activity, the larger areas or foci of activity are more prevalent, with up to ten visible, surrounded by only a handful of the smaller features. It is possible that the features visible, most particularly the evidence of wear which can only have been caused by repeated foot traffic, indicate military activities concerned with the training of infantry were taking place in this area. Earthwork features recorded in this area as possibly relating to peat extraction may in fact be remnants of this military activity. [1-3]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106UK/1501 3200-3202 (F20) (13 May 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106UK/1501 4089-90 (F20) (13 May 1946).
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185. [Mapped feature: #41619 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8662 4319 (905m by 1574m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS84SE
Civil Parish LUCCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE149
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1473270

Record last edited

Mar 9 2020 2:05PM

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