MMO3193 - World War Two features near West Water Combe (Monument)


Nine subcircular features visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s may be earthwork evidence for military training activity of Second World War date. They may be temporary weapons emplacements.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Nine subcircular possible earthwork features are visible on aerial photographs of 1946 near the head of West Water Combe, Withypool Hill, centred approximately on SS 8329 3392. Although irregularly shaped the features are on average 9 metres in diameter and are distributed over approximately 1 kilometre of combe and hill slope. They resemble, variously, low mounds or shallow scoops and may be evidence of temporary earthworks constructed for military training activities of Second World War date. The function of the features is unclear but they may be temporary emplacements for field weapons. Additional similar features are visible extending the training across the ridge to the west. They have already begun to fade from view by May 1947 and their current condition is unknown. [1-3] Part of the recorded extent of the Monument record fell within the location of a field survey undertaken in 2017 as part of a desk based assessment of Withypool Hill. A single feature was identified. The mapped extent of these features contains dense, tall gorse and grasses that may obscure other features. The recorded feature is a shallow trench of approximately 4 metres square, surrounded by a continuous bank on its north, east and west sides, measuring between 2.5 metres and 4 metres wide, with a sharp inner slope and gentler outer slope. [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 CPE/UK/2082 (F20) 4040-1 (19 May 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4254-5 (11 July 1946).
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197.
  • <4> Report: Passmore, A. and Dean, R.. 2018. Withypool Hill, Withypool, Exmoor Park: Results of archaeological desk-based assessment, measured and photographic survey of Withypool Stone Circle, and geophysical survey.
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1492086, Extant 3 February 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 8330 3397 (1081m by 162m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS83SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW115
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1492086

Record last edited

Feb 3 2022 9:43AM


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