MSO7962 - Searchlight site at Stent Hill (Monument)

Summary

The remains of a World War II searchlight battery, visible as two sub-circular platforms and a sub-circular mound. All are densely overgrown.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Centred at SS 83481 47338 is a WWII searchlight battery. It comprises two sub-circular platforms and a third sub-rectangular mound densely overgrown and impossible to accurately describe. The three features are as follows: SS 83481 47338 A sub-circular to sub-rectangular platform measuring 8 metres by 6.2 metres and cut into the hillside by 0.6 m. SS 83512 47327 A sub-rectangular to sub-circular platform measuring 9 metres by 8 metres and cut into the hillside by 0.4 metres. A footpath runs through the middle of it. SS 83525 47325. Sub-rectangular mound 0.9 metres high and approximately 6 metres by 3 metres, but too overgrown to accurately observe. The searchlight battery is presumably associated with the WWII building complex on Stent Hill (MSO7961) and the nearby nissen hut bases some 160 m to the south-west (MSO7787). Surveyed (but not recorded) by RCHME with the Culbone Stone Row (MSO7893) in 1990. Recorded as part of RCHME's Exmoor Project 29 July 1997. [1,2] The Nissen huts (MSO7787) are likely to be the domestic accommodation for the site. Five would be an appropriate number for this. [3,11] Listed in Aug 1941 as 'Culbone Wood Searchlight Cluster Site' manned by 536 SL Bty of 89 SL Regt RA and consisted of a 'cluster' of 3 searchlights. [4] Listed in 1943 as EXH1 (Culbone Wood) manned by 540 SL Bty of 88 SL Regt RA. The site then had a single light. The designation indicates that it was associated with the Exeter RAF Sector. HQ of 540/88 SL Bty was at Edgecott House Exford (SS8481 3873). The Culbone site does not appear in a later 1943 (undated) list when the EXH area was reorganised. [6] The searchlight battery is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946. The site is centred at SS 8349 4730 and covers an area that measures 105 metres by 73 metres at its widest points. As well as the sub-circular and sub rectangular mounds, the site also comprises the footings of two possible square buildings centred at SS 8349 4730 and SS 8354 4730, which both measure 3 metres by 3 metres. There is also a rectangular feature centred at SS 8345 4733 that measures 24 metres long by 8 metres wide and orientated northwest/southeast. This is possibly the footings of a large nissen hut or building. Only the two sub-circular and sub-rectangular platforms were still visible as earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1997. [8,9]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. Wilson-North, R. 29/07/1997.
  • <2> Survey: RCHME. 1998. Exmoor survey. SS 84 NW 55.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Webster, C. 01/06/2000.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Hunt, David. 17/10/2007. email to HER.
  • <5> Unassigned: National Archives WO166/1251.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Hunt, David. 17/10/2007. email to HER.
  • <7> Unassigned: National Archives WO166/11001.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 106G/UK/1501 4340-4341. 12/05/1946.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8347/2 (15618/15). 08/04/1997.
  • <10> Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 84 NW. MD000129.
  • <11> Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Plan of the Culbone Stone Row. 1:1000.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 83490 47308 (114m by 85m)
Map sheet SS84NW
Civil Parish PORLOCK, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO791
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12733
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW55
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1125641
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 57158

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:27PM

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