MSO7962 - World War Two searchlight site at Stent Hill (Monument)


The remains of a World War Two searchlight battery, visible as two subcircular platforms and a subcircular mound. All are densely overgrown.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Centred at SS 83481 47338 is a WW Two searchlight battery. It comprises two subcircular platforms and a third subrectangular mound densely overgrown and impossible to accurately describe. The three features are as follows: SS 83481 47338 A subcircular to subrectangular platform measuring 8 metres by 6.2 metres and cut into the hillside by 0.6 metres. SS 83512 47327 A subrectangular to subcircular 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. Subrectangular 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 World War Two building complex on Stent Hill (MSO7961) and the nearby nissen hut bases some 160 m to the southwest (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. [3,10] 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. [4,5] 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 (SS 8481 3873). The Culbone site does not appear in a later 1943 (undated) list when the EXH area was reorganised. [4,6] 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 subcircular and subrectangular platforms were still visible as earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1997. [7-9] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I.. 1990. Culbone Stone Row/ink survey. 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 29 July 1997.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, 1 June 2000.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Hunt, David. 17/10/2007. email to HER.
  • <5> Collection: Unknown. 1940-1941. AREAS: WESTERN: Headquarters (HQ).
  • <6> Collection: Unknown. 1943. Somerset.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 106G/UK/1501 4340-4341 (12 May 1946).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8347/2 (15618/15) (8 April 1997).
  • <9>XY Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 84 NW. MD000129. [Mapped feature: #38310 ]
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1125641, Extant 23 February 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO791
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12733
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW55
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1125641
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 57158



Grid reference Centred SS 83490 47308 (114m by 85m)
Map sheet SS84NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 23 2022 11:28AM


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