MMO626 - World War Two tank marshalling area in Moor Wood (Monument)

Summary

A Second World War tank marshalling area, visible as buildings, structures and roads, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1946. It is associated with the extensive military training area and tank firing range that covered North Hill.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

The remains of a military training area lie in Moor Wood, North Hill, centred at SS 9538 4749. The structures were surveyed as part of the RCHME survey of the ENPA holding on North Hill. Full details in survey report. [1] SS 9546 4746 A Second World War tank marshalling area, visible as buildings, structures and roads, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1946. Located in Moor Wood on Minehead's North Hill, the features are associated with the extensive military training area and tank firing range that covered North Hill during the war. A military concrete road leads north off Hill Road (SS 9535 4744) at the west end of Moor Wood and provided access to the tank marshalling area (SS 9538 4748), the Chain Home Low radar station, a cluster of accommodation and/or administration buildings and the tank wash hard standing area. The tank marshalling area consists of a 57 metres long concrete road that leads through Moor Wood to a large area of roughly triangular concrete slab hard standing (centred on SS 9547 4744, about 61 metres east to west, 35 metres north-north-east to south-south-west and 60 metres west-north-west to east-south-east, with two large rectangular military buildings and with a tree cleared border on which is located five small Nissen huts. Two large concrete ramps were located inside the large 18.5 metres long east to west by 10.5 metres wide north to south rectangular building (SS 9546 4745) in the middle of the hard standing area, which it is suggested were for loading and unloading tanks (presumably) onto tank transporters. It may be that tanks were also transported onto/off tranpsorters, but eyewitness reports describe Churchill tanks being offloaded at Minehead railway station and then driving themselves through Minehead, destroying the road surface with their caterpillar tracks to such an extent that they had to rebuild the road from the station to North Hill. It is possible, therefore, that the building may have been used for tank maintenance/repairs. Immediately to the north of this building are located two Nissen huts, the larger of the two (SS 9546 4747) being 11 metres long and 4 metres wide, the smaller (SS 9546 4746) being 7 metres long by 4 metres wide. Two further Nissen huts are located 7 metres to the southwest of the ramp building. Aligned northeast to southwest together, the west hut (SS 9544 4744) about 11 metres long and 4 metres wide, the east hut (SS 9545 4743) 10 metres long and 4 metres wide. The 9 metres wide concrete road leads north a further 50 metres at the far end of the hard standing area to a large rectangular building (SS 9552 4751) about 15.5 metres long west-north-west to east-south-east and 10 metres wide north-north-east to south-south-west. It has been suggested that this was a tank/vehicle maintenance building. 11 metres to the west of this building, a small building (SS 9550 4751) is about 8.3 metres long north to south and 5 metres wide east to west. Although the concrete building platforms, roads, ramps and hard standing area remained extant in 2001, the buildings were no longer visible in 1950. [3-9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Report: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. The field archaeology of North Hill: An archaeological survey of the Exmoor National Park holding.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4004-4005 (11 July 1946).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3007-3008 (11 July 1946).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 541/544 3004-3005 (1 June 1950).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9547/8 (21106/04) (9 February 2001).
  • <6> Website: Various. Various. World Wide Web page. Peter Batchelor. 2005. American Tanks <
  • <7> Website: Various. Various. World Wide Web page. Dudley Parsons. 2005. War Years, North Hill <
  • <8> Collection: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Exmoor Project.
  • <9> Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NE. MD000134.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9546 4747 (283m by 116m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS94NE
Civil Parish MINEHEAD WITHOUT, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (17)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12468
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7615
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NE60
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1102188
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35669

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:21PM

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