MSO8088 - World War Two observation post west of target railway on North Hill (Monument)

Summary

The remains of an observation post are visible as a rectangular concrete area that forms the roof of an underground structure. An earthen mound covering the structure was removed by the farmer shortly before 1998.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

An underground structure identified from 1949 aerial photographs at SS 9203 4872 and still visible in 1993 in an area of cultivated land, probably with the mound removed. See MMO627 for overall details. [1] A recently exposed concrete slab resting on several courses of engineering brick. Exposed on the south side and buried on the uphill north side. It looks more like a cast roof than a floor. Around are heaps of stone rubble, some still mortared as though they once clad the structure. There are also several pieces of iron frame. [2] Centred at SS 92010 48728 is an observation post built during World War Two. The site was visible until recently as an earthen mound, but the farmer removed this with a mechanical digger to expose a rectangular area of concrete measuring 5.9 metres by at least 2.8 metres and 0.15 metres thick. On the southern side several courses of brickwork are visible below the concrete. It appears that this structure was an observation post constructed mainly below ground level. The concrete area is the roof of the structure which was previously protected by an overburden of earth. [3] The mound referred to above [3] is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs. The mound is centred at SS 9201 4872 and measures about 28 metres by 34 metres and is as described above. The post was used for tank training activities (MMO627) during the Second World War. [4,5] An observation / target dugout on Range B (MSO8084). The firing track for this range is just north of Selworthy Beacon (MSO8107). A site visit in February 1998 showed the remains of a retaining wall for the mound a few metres north of the concrete platform that is the roof of the dugout. This retaining wall marks the north facing entrance to the dugout and the wall is visible in the turf covering the spoil mound. The ventilation / periscope pipe in the concrete slab roof shows that interior of dugout is still a void. The mound has been bulldozed to the north to fill in the entrance to the dugout. The pieces of iron frame referred to in previous entries may be the remains of pull-up target apparatus as described for MSO8097. This dugout is on the site of an earlier timber and earth shelter as indicated in the War Diary of 12th Canadian Army Tank Battalion which visited AFVR Minehead in August 1942. Many of the other dugouts on the range were originally built of timber and earth and replaced by concrete structures in 1943. The visible brick work is shuttering for the reinforced concrete. [7,8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Geonex. 1993. Aerial photographs, Run 3. Geonex. Run 3. 85.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, SMR Officer, July 1998.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 7 April 1998.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1655 4010-4011 (11 July 1946).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79013 161-162 (17 April 1979).
  • <6>XY Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NW. MD000133. [Mapped feature: #46791 ]
  • <7> Article in serial: War diary of 12th Canadian Army Tank Battalion (The Three Rivers Regiment) for 1942. National Archives of Canada, RG 42. Volume 18204.
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Adrian James, 19 June 2006.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 92024 48730 (52m by 52m) (Aerial survey)
Map sheet SS94NW
Civil Parish SELWORTHY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO823
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12331
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NW130
  • National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA167619
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1131093
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 35519

Record last edited

Nov 4 2020 2:40PM

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