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HER Number:MDV13885
Name:World War II Bombing Decoy at Wembury

Summary

The extent of a Second World War bombing decoy is visible as earthworks and possible structures on aerial photographs of 1945, south of Wembury. The control shelter for the bombing decoy is located about 275 metres to the north-east and is recorded separately.
The visible decoy comprises several dispersed components dispersed over an area of at least 3 hectares, although more components were probably present over a wider area but not recognised from aerial photographs.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 526 485
Map Sheet:SX54NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWembury
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishWEMBURY

Protected Status

  • SHINE: World War II bombing decoy and undated irregular enclosure south east of Wembury

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 438366
  • National Trust SMR: 104313
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX54NW/14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BOMBING DECOY (XX - 1901 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV167723.

RAF/CPE/UK/1890/3104(10/12/1946)/(SMR 57/107).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV167724.

OSA=SX54NW/13.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV167726.

Crawshaw, A. /WWII decoy sites/(Nov 1996)/MS + plans/in SMR.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV167727.

Crawshaw, A. /WWII decoy sites/(1996)/disk in SMR.


Griffith, F. M., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV8774.

Several apparent earthwork features are visible on the RAF 1946 air photo in this area. There are several rectangular features that could be the remains of large buildings or enclosures, one possibly subdivided, and at least one circular feature, apparently upstanding. Several other round features are probably bomb craters. Date and function unknown - no recent military structures in the immediate vicinity. Not shown on OS 6" county series. Possible cropmark traces of earlier rectilinear field system to SE (FMG).


RAF, 1940's, Wembury site "PL5(B)" (Cartographic). SDV324236.

Tracing from 6" Ordnance Survey sheet CXXX NW. Showing location of Open Door, Leavky Lighting, Splutter Fire, Smoke Fire and Street Lighting decoys. Other details: APM 199 733.


RAF, 1940's, Wembury site "PL5(B)" (Cartographic). SDV324237.

Enlargement of tracing from 6" Ordnance Survey sheet CXXX NW. Showing location of Open Door, Leaky lighting, Splutter Fire, Smoke Fire and Street Lighting decoys. Other details: APM199 733.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/967, RAF/106G/UK/967 V 4104-4105 01-NOV-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351060.

Earthwork and possibly structural elements of the decoy are visible. Map object based on this source.


Ordnance Survey, 1986, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV167717.

30/7/1986 (OS) The area around the map reference lies on SW and W facing slopes in regularly cultivated arable farmland at present under stubble. There is no ground evidence of any earthworks or anything surveyable associated with these cropmarks (OS).


Dobinson, C. S., 1996, Bombing decoys of WWII, 116,119 (Report - non-specific). SDV324125.

'N' series naval decoy PL5 starfish (SF) and dummy lights (QL).


Pye, A. + Woodward, F., 1996, The Historic Defences of Plymouth, 233 (Monograph). SDV167752.


Horner, W., 1996, Wembury Bombing Decoy (Worksheet). SDV357485.

This is probably the site of the Wembury Bombing Decoy, constructed in 1941 to defend Plymouth. Operated night fire and light decoys in 1941 and in 1942 also operated "Starfish" decoy. Control post still extant . Map and photograph. Map object based on this source.


Crawshaw, A., 1996, WWII Bombing decoys (Un-published). SDV145387.

The decoy was bombed on 20/3/1941. Other documentation 18/12/1940 to 12/3/1942 (Crawshaw, Disk). Other details: Disk.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

The main visible elements include two possible large earthwork mounds at circa SX52614853 and SX52734860,each over 40 metres in diameter, with two small pits located between them. Six smaller rectangular or ovoid enclosures are arranged around the possible mounds, each containing subdivisions or possible pits.
The function of the individual components is unknown but probably included firebreaks and pits or structures to contain burning material. The ephemeral elements of the site are not visible on later aerial photographs.


Pink, F., 2014-2015, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment (Interpretation). SDV357736.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV145387Un-published: Crawshaw, A.. 1996. WWII Bombing decoys.
SDV167717Report - Survey: Ordnance Survey. 1986.
SDV167723Aerial Photograph:
SDV167724Migrated Record:
SDV167726Migrated Record:
SDV167727Migrated Record:
SDV167752Monograph: Pye, A. + Woodward, F.. 1996. The Historic Defences of Plymouth. The Historic Defences of Plymouth. A4 Paperback. 233.
SDV324125Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 1996. Bombing decoys of WWII. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. III. A4 Stapled + Digital. 116,119.
SDV324236Cartographic: RAF. 1940's. Wembury site "PL5(B)". Site plan.
SDV324237Cartographic: RAF. 1940's. Wembury site "PL5(B)". Site plan.
SDV351060Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/967. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/967 V 4104-4105 01-NOV-1945.
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV357485Worksheet: Horner, W.. 1996. Wembury Bombing Decoy. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV357736Interpretation: Pink, F.. 2014-2015. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV8774Migrated Record: Griffith, F. M..

Associated Monuments

MDV51627Related to: Military Building southeast of Wembury (Monument)
MDV51626Related to: Second World War Bombing Decoy Control Shelter South East of Wembury (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Feb 10 2015 11:07AM