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HER Number:MDV72068
Name:'Q' Bombing decoy, Woodbury

Summary

The Second World War Woodbury Q bombing decoy site for RAF Exeter is visible as a mock runway on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, on Woodbury Common.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 040 869
Map Sheet:SY08NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBicton
Civil ParishColaton Raleigh
Civil ParishWoodbury
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCOLATON RALEIGH
Ecclesiastical ParishBICTON
Ecclesiastical ParishWOODBURY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1465230

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BOMBING DECOY (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1412, RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3173-74 13-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352504.

The bombing decoy is visible as an area of flattened, rolled ground. Map object based on this source.


Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Runway visible, aligned north-east to south-west, with small building at north-east end. Another possible runway runs south-south-east from the south-west end. Map object based on this Source.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS, RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS 2304-05 13-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356946.

The bombing decoy is visible as an area of flattened, rolled ground.


Royal Air Force, 1954, RAF/540/1437, RAF/540/1437 F21 005-06 07-OCT-1954 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356239.

Traces of the former bombing decoy are barely perceptible and have almost completely disappeared.


Dobinson, C. S., 1996, Bombing decoys of WWII (Report - non-specific). SDV324125.

Site of Woodbury Q Bombing decoy for RAF Exeter. 'Q' site used as a dummy aerodrome with flarepath lighting to simulate activity of a real airfield. Parent site and control post at RAF Exeter. References to site between August 1941 and August 1942.


Francis, P., 1999, Exeter Airport. Historic Airport Survey for Devon County Council & East Devon District Council, 60 (Report - non-specific). SDV323390.

'Q' site simulated a single-line (one runway) Drem Mk2 lighting flarepath and approach funnel.


Miller, D., 2006, Untitled Source (Interpretation). SDV324131.

Two 'runways' visable on 1946-49 aerial photos. The first running North-East South-West and the other North-West South-East, 'runways' intersect at North-West point. North-East point of 1st 'runway' terminates at what appears to be the remains of a building. 'Runways' no longer visable on 1999-2000 aerial photos.


Exeter Archaeology, 2007, East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007, 62, Site J (Archive - Survey). SDV351571.

‘Q’ site used as dummy aerodrome with flarepath lighting to simulate real airfield. Parent site and control post at RAF Exeter. Two ‘runways’ visible on 1946 aerial photograph, aligned northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast, with apparent remains of buildings at northeast end of first ‘runway’. Not visible on 1999-2000 aerial photographs.

NGR imprecise but places it to be south of the track where there is a small east-west valley. It is not known if the decoy was located in the base of the valley. Area under heather and gorse circa 0.3 metre- 0.5 metre high. No features identified during 2002 survey or 2007 visit. Public footpath runs through this area.

Be aware of the potential existence of features during vegetation clearance in this area and avoid damaging any exposed features.

Good candidate for inclusion in interpretation of World War Two feature/sites.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

The Second World War Woodbury Q bombing decoy site for RAF Exeter is visible as a mock runway on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, on Woodbury Common. The ‘runway’ is visible as an area of flattened, rolled ground and comprises two intersecting landing strips, the longer being northeast to southwest aligned, approximately 1km in length, with a shorter northwest to southeast aligned offshoot to its southwest, approximately 525m in length. A second bombing decoy site is also located approximately 640m to the northeast as well as a control shelter and generator building positioned inbetween the two. The bombing decoy remains clearly visible as an area of flattened ground on aerial photographs of 1947, although is barely perceptible by 1954 and has almost completely disappeared. There are no traces of the site, other than a partly truncated square enclosure (SY03938668) on aerial photographs after this date.


Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit (Site Visit). SDV357653.

A site visit was carried out here on the 23-Oct-2015. Although there is no evidence of the former site itself, it's effect on the landscape is visible at SY03938668, where construction of the runway has truncated the northeastern corner of an earthwork bank square enclosure.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Report - non-specific: Francis, P.. 1999. Exeter Airport. Historic Airport Survey for Devon County Council & East Devon District Council. Airfield Research Publishing Report. Digital + A4. 60.
  • Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 1996. Bombing decoys of WWII. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. III. A4 Stapled + Digital.
  • Interpretation: Miller, D.. 2006.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1412. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3173-74 13-APR-1946.
  • Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2007. East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007. East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 62, Site J.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS 2304-05 13-APR-1947.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1954. RAF/540/1437. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/540/1437 F21 005-06 07-OCT-1954.
  • Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
  • Site Visit: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit. AC Archaeology.

Associated Monuments

MDV70415Related to: Control Shelter and Generator Building, Colaton Raleigh Common (Monument)
MDV72067Related to: 'QF' Bombing decoy, Woodbury (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4774 - Historic Airport Survey, Exeter Airport
  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)
  • EDV6924 - The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments NMP project (Ref: ACD1228)

Date Last Edited:Oct 26 2015 10:33AM