MSO8101 - World War Two gun emplacement or winch dugout between East Combe and Henners Combe (Monument)
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Type and Period (2)
The remains of a gun emplacement lie on the edge of the spur between East Combe and Henners Combe, overlooking a small bay. The site was recorded using differential GPS as part of the RCHME Exeter project. The remains comprise a flat topped mound providing a sub circular apron for the gun position. This mound is 15 metres by 10 metres by 3 metres high. To the south of this the platform is protected by a large mound 35 metres by 25 metres by 2 metres hgih. This mound contains some demolition rubble, probably from other World War Two features in the area, including metal rails, concrete lumps amd a set of wheels. The gun position functioned as part of the World War Two tank training range on Bossington Hill, Selworthy Beacon and North Hill. [1,2] The gun emplacement is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs. The emplacement is defined by an earthen mound that is centred at SS 9128 4888 and measures 34 metres by 21 metres. A concrete structure forming the emplacement is situated on the northeast side of the mound. The emplacement was part of the Second World War tank training activities (MSO7616). [3-5] An underground structure identified from 1946 aerial photographs.  Still visible in 1993.  A World War Two Coast artillery battery with 4 inch guns was sited at about SS 912 490.  The remains of an emplacement comprising a large mound. Only part of one concrete side remains, the interior is filled with rubbish including iron machine components - probably a discarded tractor. Below the mound is a constructed platform.  Documentary sources record the Emergency Coast Artillery battery being at Minehead Harbour (MMO1282) so the function of this site is not clear.  This is probably the remains of a winch dugout for the operation of moving targets that were pulled on sledges. It is known that there were at least two such winch dugouts at Minehead, (Nos 26 and 8). These housed petrol driven drum winches (old barrage balloon winches?) which were used to pull tank shaped targets, via pulleys, across open ground, Probably only used for the battle practices that most units fired towards the end of their visit to the range. After each run, the targets would be repaired and hauled out again by jeep/lorry. The dugout seems to had the roof removed. The debris used to fill in the building includes the road wheel of what was probably a Cruiser type tank. The rails are probably from the demolition of one of the three moving target tracks on the range.  This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SMO7322 Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
- <3> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1655 4012-4013 ( 11 July 1946).
- <4> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79012 028-029 (17 April 1979).
- <5>XY SMO7542 Archive: Dickson, A.. 2007. Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NW. MD000133. [Mapped feature: #42979 ]
- <6> SSO364 Aerial photograph: July 1946. RAF 106G\UK\1655 4005 to 4013.
- <7> SSO405 Aerial photograph: 1993. SCC Geonex Run 3. 85.
- <8> SSO1776 Article in serial: Osborn, B. 1983. Minehead without parish survey. SANHS.
- <9> SEM8675 Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, March 1998.
- <10> SEM8675 Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, 16 May 2000.
- <11> SEM8675 Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Adrian James, Email to Somerset County Council, 14 June 2006.
- <12> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1132495, Extant 12 May 2022.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 9129 4888 (51m by 46m)|
|Civil Parish||MINEHEAD WITHOUT, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
|Civil Parish||SELWORTHY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (3)
Related Articles (1)
External Links (2)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1132495 (Pastscape entry: 1132495)
- https://heritagerecords.nationaltrust.org.uk/HBSMR/MonRecord.aspx?uid=MNA167642 (National Trust HER entry: MNA167642)
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO895
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12329
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NW149
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- National Trust HER Record: MNA167642
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1132495
- Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 35517
Record last edited
May 12 2022 11:15AM
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