MMO2526 - Firing Range on Porlock Common (Monument)

Summary

A large v-shaped feature on Porlock Common. Linear patterns of Second World War craters appear to focus upon the western arm of the V and it is possible that the trench housed artillery firing range targets.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Two ditches or trenches are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, forming a large v-shaped feature centred on circa SS 83774320, on Porlock Common. The trenches are over 250 metres in length and approximately 2 metres wide, with a low bank of spoil, presumably from their excavation, piled along their eastern sides. A much narrower slit may be seen to running parallel to the western arm of the V, but may be an earthwork caused by earthmoving machinery. The date and function of these earthworks are unclear from the aerial photographs alone. However, Second World War craters appear to focus in several rows upon the western arm of the V, with very few crossing it. This may be coincidence but, it is possible that the trench housed artillery firing range targets, possibly of a movable type as found in AFV (Tank) firing ranges. A movable target may account for the banding effect of the craters and the target may have been controlled, or observed, from a small structure approximately 250 metres to the south. [1-4] The ditches were noticed by through the survey of the area for proposed bailing for Mires restoration on Alderman's Barrow Allotment. They describe the N-S ditch as a machine-cut ditch 1.8m wide and 0.4m deep with spoil on the eastern side forming an irregular bank up to 0.2m high. To the north the ditch is more irregular, possibly as a result of erosion on the steepening slope. Peat deposites up to 0.4m deep are exposed in the side of the ditch cut. The E-W ditch is described as a machine-cut ditch 2m wide and up to 0.4m deep, with spoil on the south side up to 0.3m high. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540-931 (F20) 4099-4101. 08/11/1952.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK 1980. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 3086. NMR 3166-7. 11/04/1947.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 857-8. 29/04/1973.
  • <5> Report: Kirkham, G. and Taylor, S.. 2008. Exmoor Mire Restoration Project: Archaeological Survey on Moorland Areas at Alderman's Barrow Allotment, Blackpitts-Exe Head, North Twitchen, Roosthitchen and Verney's Allotment. p. 10; no. 10, 28.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8388 4333 (250m by 291m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS84SW
Civil Parish PORLOCK, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1478252

Record last edited

Jul 27 2018 8:45AM

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