MMO2967 - World War Two training earthworks on northern half of Withypool Common (Monument)

Summary

Numerous small earthwork features visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s are probably related to military training activity of Second World War date. It is possible the earthworks relate to several different training exercises.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Numerous small possible earthwork features visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s on the northern half of Withypool Common, centred at circa SS 8160 3722, are probably related to military training activity of Second World War date. It is possible the features relate to several different training exercises. Dense concentrations of narrow and short slit trenches are visible surrounding amorphous subcircular features, possibly low earthworks or levelled platforms. A tentative interpretation of these is as field gun platforms and possible ammunition store trenches. Two rows of similar circular features to the east, totalling 25, may also be platforms but also resemble craters and may be evidence of test firing. Fifteen larger slit trenches are visible to the west of the common, bounded by flanking spoil heaps. Vehicle tracks encircle a number of these and they may be obstructions created for military vehicular training. This training area may be related to the broader activities of the Exmoor Firing Range and may created a small spread of craters circa 1.5 kilometres to the northwest. Most of the features cannot be seen as earthworks on aerial photographs of 1964, but their location continues to be visible as differential vegetation growth. [1-4] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 3418-9 (11 July 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F62) 0164 (27 April 1964).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3320-21 (11 April 1947).
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NW. MD002191. [Mapped feature: #32782 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488043, Extant 1 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8148 3718 (1721m by 657m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NW
Civil Parish WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NW65
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488043

Record last edited

Sep 1 2021 1:24PM

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