MSO7593 - World War Two tank washing platform on North Hill (Monument)

Summary

A concrete road and stance is part of a World War II tank training area. The hardstanding was used for washing down the tanks before they left the range.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

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. [3-5] 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. [6] 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. [7] This facility was completed by the end of October 1943, with the installation of the high-pressure washing machine. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> (No record type): RILEY, HR. The prehistoric enclosures and medieval and post-medieval settlements at Bagley and Sweetworthy, Luccombe, Somerset : an archaeological survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. RCHME Archaeological Field Survey reports 1991 -.
  • <2> Report: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. The field archaeology of North Hill: An archaeological survey of the Exmoor National Park holding.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4004-4005 (11 July 1946).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3007-3008 (11 July 1946).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9547/9 (21106/05) (9 February 2001).
  • <6> Unassigned: Webster, Chris. July 1998. Comments from SMRO.
  • <7> Unassigned: James, Adrian. 12/6/2006.
  • <8> Unassigned: 1943. WO 166/12234. War diary of 710 coy Royal Engineers.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 95296 47637 (175m by 284m)
Map sheet SS94NE
Civil Parish MINEHEAD WITHOUT, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO649
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12487
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NE75
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1103400
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35688

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:25PM

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