MSO7593 - World War Two tank washing platform on North Hill (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
A concrete road and stance lie on North Hill, west of Moor Wood, centred at SS 95233 47701. They were part of the World War Two tank training area and were recorded as part of the RCHME survey of the ENPA holding on North Hill. Full details in survey report. [1,2] SS 9530 4759 A Second World War military road and tank hard standing platform, visible as a structure, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1946. Located 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 3 metres wide concrete access road runs roughly northwest to southeast (SS 9524 4769 to SS 9538 4749) for about 240 metres from the north to south aligned road which leads off Hill Road, at the west end of Moor Wood. Constructed by the military, the road leads into the southeastern corner of a rectangular area on the hillslope (SS 9524 4770) about 22.5 metres long north-north-east to south-south-west and 20 metres wide west-north-west to east-south-east. It is suggested that this area functioned as a tank wash down facility prior to departure from the firing range area. Along 12 metres of the north-north-east side of the hard standing, seven triangular obstacles with sides about 0.7 metres, are visible which are thought to act as emergency stops to prevent vehicles running downslope. A small rectangular building, about 3.3 by 2.7 metres, is visible midway down the east-south-east side of the hard standing. In both corners of the north-north-east side, a linear feature of unknown function extends downslope. In the northeastern corner, the linear feature is about 41 metres long and 2 metres wide. In the northwest corner, the linear feature is about 62 metres long and 3.3 metres wide. The features are still visible in 2001, heavily overgrown. [3-6] The features described as 'dragons teeth' are nothing like anti-tank obstacles. They take the form of triangular concrete slabs about 0.5m along each side and only c20 centimetres high.  Documents in the National Archives (Public Record Office) indicate that this is the site of the tank wash down, where tanks were cleaned before leaving the range. The platform is on a slope to allow the water to run away down the slope, with the "dragons teeth" presumably designed to stop the tanks doing the same, but letting the water pass.  This facility was completed by the end of October 1943, with the installation of the high pressure washing machine.  This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SMO5777 Report: Riley, H.. 1996. The prehistoric enclosures and medieval and post medieval settlements at Bagley and Sweetworthy, Luccombe, Somerset. RCHME.
- <2> SMO5780 Report: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. The field archaeology of North Hill: An archaeological survey of the Exmoor National Park holding. RCHME.
- <3> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4004-4005 (11 July 1946).
- <4> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3007-3008 (11 July 1946).
- <5> SMO4069 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9547/9 (21106/05) (9 February 2001).
- <6> SMO7543 Archive: Crowther, S.. 2007. Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NE. MD000134.
- <7> SEM8675 Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, SMR Officer, July 1998.
- <8> SMO5308 Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Adrian James, 12 June 2006.
- <9> SSO714 Unassigned: 1943. WO 166/12234. War diary of 710 coy Royal Engineers.
- <10> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1103400, Extant 10 May 2022.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 95296 47637 (175m by 284m)|
|Civil Parish||MINEHEAD WITHOUT, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (3)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1103400 (Original Monarch entry: 1103400)
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO649
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12487
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NE75
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1103400
- Somerset SMR PRN: 35688
Record last edited
May 10 2022 11:44AM
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