MSO12469 - World War Two tank ramps at North Hill (Monument)

Summary

Two concrete ramps were originally situated within a large rectangular building, with two Nissen huts to the north. They were possibly for loading and unloading tanks from transporters or for undertaking repairs or maintenance of tanks.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

Two concrete ramps survive for loading and unloading tanks from transporters. The larger measures 18.7 by 11.5 metres and 0.9 metres high. There is brick facing on the south and east sides. Vegetation prevented further observation. The smaller measures 14.5 by 11.5 metres and 0.9 metres high. [1] RAF 1946 photos show the area as one large building with two smaller nissen type huts off the concrete standing to the north. Part of tank marshalling area MMO626. [3] The ramps are depicted but not labelled on 2018 MasterMap data. [4] 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. 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 northnortheast to southsouthwest and 60 metres westnorthwest to eastsoutheast, 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 transporters, 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 N 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. Although the concrete building platforms, roads, ramps and hard standing area remained extant in 2001, the buildings were no longer visible in 1950. [5-11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Report: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. The field archaeology of North Hill: An archaeological survey of the Exmoor National Park holding. A, p13, 26.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1946. RAF 106G\UK\1665 3009 and 4005.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Webster, CJ. Mar 1998. Somerset HER staff comments. Chris Webster, Somerset SMR, Somerset County Council, March 1998.
  • <4>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #34134 Tank ramps, ]
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4004-4005 (11 July 1946).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3007-3008 (11 July 1946).
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 541/544 3004-3005 (1 June 1950).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9547/8 21106/04 (9 February 2001).
  • <9> Website: Various. Various. World Wide Web page. D Parsons 2005 "War Years, North Hill"http://www.somerset.gov.uk/Archives/exmoor/parsonssummary2.htm.
  • <10> Website: Various. Various. World Wide Web page. P Batchelor, 2005. "American Tanks" http://www.somerset.gov.uk/archives/exmoor/batchelorsummary1.htm.
  • <11>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 NE. MD002175. [Mapped features: #46199 Southern Nissen hut, ; #46200 Northern Nissen hut, ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9546 4746 (34m by 24m)
Map sheet SS94NE
Civil Parish MINEHEAD WITHOUT, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NE60
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1102188
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35670

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:24PM

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