MSO8084 - Target railway B, north of Selworthy Beacon (Monument)

Summary

One of three target railways used for tank range firing during WW2 survives as a slight earthwork.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

One of three trackways used to move targets used for tank gunnery training. Destroyed but traces can be seen on 1993 aerial photographs. (1) Slight earthworks visible on the ground. The remains of a mound at the West end (MSO8087) are covered in gorse suggesting that it contained concrete structures that could not be removed. No concrete visible but there is a tank turret in the gully at the rear of the mound. At the East end is a small mound of stone rubble with no concrete. In front is another large mound (MSO8085). (2) A WWII target railway runs from SS 92123 48646 to SS 92314 48464 a length of about 270 metres. The feature is very slight; it was presumably flattened by the army at the end of the war and has been further reduced by subsequent agricultural improvement. Nevertheless it survives as a linear terrace some 9 metres wide cut into the hilside by 1.5 metres.The tank turret is at SS 92107 48623. It is in good condition and the farmer states that it was retrieved from a tank which crashed into Henners Combe during WWII. The turret appears to belong to a Cruiser tank, which were used largely for training purposes after 1942. (3-4) This was the site of the moving target rail for Range B, with its associated firing track on Selworthy Beacon, MSO8107 The tank that rolled down into Henners Combe during the war was a Churchill, probably of 153 RAC sometime in 1942. It apparently ran away from the firing point of Range B.The turret to be found at this location is that of a Covenanter tank - a tank used for training in the UK. The turret is probably the remains of a "hard target" that was located near this target rail. (5) The target railway is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs. The terrace on which the railway was constructed is centred at SS 9221 4857 and measures 300m long by 12m wide. The railway target was one of three used for tank training during the war. (6-7)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: 1993. SCC Geonex Run 3. 85.
  • <2> Unassigned: Webster, Chris. July 1998. Comments from SMRO.
  • <3> Survey: RCHME. 1998. Exmoor survey. NMR sites SS 94 NW 126, 128.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. Wilson-North, R. 07/04/1998.
  • <5> Unassigned: James, Adrian. 7/6/2006. Staff comments. Email to SCC.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1655 4010-4011. 11/07/1946.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79013 161-162. 17/04/1979.
  • <8> Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NW. MD000133.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 92224 48552 (266m by 235m) (Centred on)
Map sheet SS94NW
Civil Parish SELWORTHY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (8)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO820
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12339
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NW126
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA168310
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1131080
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 35527

Record last edited

Jul 9 2019 9:59AM

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