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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1454735

Hob Uid: 1454735
Location :
Devon
West Devon
Walkhampton
Grid Ref : SX5573069950
Summary : An underground monitoring post or bunker designed by the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) to record nuclear bomb explosions and the drift of fallout. Located in open moorland at SX 5573 6995 just off the summit of Peek Hill it lay beyond the perimeter of RAF Sharpitor (SX 56 NE 379). It was constructed in 1957 and abandoned by 1991. The footings of a small concrete structure lying on the top of a mound 160m to the south of the bunker is probably an ROC Aircraft Recognition and Reporting Post (SX 56 NE 402).
More information : An ROC monitoring post. The flat-topped oval mound measures 17m long,12m wide and 1.3m high. An 0.65m square concrete-lined opening is a one end. Scheduled (1)

An underground monitoring post or bunker designed by the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) to record nuclear bomb explosions and the drift of fallout. Located in open moorland at SX 5573 6995 just off the summit of Peek Hill it lay beyond the perimeter of RAF Sharpitor (SX 56 NE 379). It was constructed in 1957 (3) although the majority of these bunkers were built between the years 1958 and 1964 with the prototype constructed in 1956 (2). It may have been operational until the ROC was abolished in 1991. It is evident as a uniform rectangular turf-covered mound, 1.2m in height with rounded corners. There is no trace of a concrete post and wire fence that often enclosed these sites. Near the southern end of the mound is the access shaft to the underground bunker. Here the original short brick stack with a steel trapdoor in the top has been removed to ground level exposing the 0.5m square concrete-lined shaft reinforced with iron rods; the top rung of the iron access ladder is visible. The shaft is now infilled and blocked by granite boulders. Near the northern end of the mound is the air vent - originally a short brick-built stack with vents in its sides. This stack has also been removed to ground level revealing the 0.3m square concrete-lined shaft complete with iron reinforcing rods; it is now infilled with stone. Both of these brick stacks were covered with a crude stone facing i an attempt to merge the features with the surroundings.Wilkinson (3) reports that before the bunker was sealed with sand and stones it was possible to descend the access shaft into a small room that contained a table and a single bed. The description of the standard three -man ROC bunker (3) indicates that it had two rooms; the larger, the monitoring room measured 4.6m by 2.3m. The access shaft was 4.6m deep. The measuring instruments, a survey meter and a baffle plate, extended above ground between the two short stacks but there is now no surface indication of the holes required by these instruments.
The footings of a small concrete structure located some 160m to the south of the bunker is probably an ROC Aircraft Recognition and Reporting Post (SX 56 NE 402). Many ROC underground bunkers were constructed near to these pre-existing ROC above-ground observation posts. Located on the top of a mound (SX 56 NE 186) this structure offers a superb 360 degree vista and overlooks the City of Plymouth. These posts were usually created from a pre-cast concrete factory-built structure called an Orlit Post - named after the manufacturer. It was usually a two-roomed rectangular structure - one was roofed and the other open to enable aircraft observation. The concrete brick and concrete foundations on the mound are now only partially visible being 4.5m long with parts of two short return walls but it is likely that this to was an Orlit Post. Surveyed at 1:2500 scale (2)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : M.J.Fletcher English Heritage Field Investigation 07-May-2007
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : 20th century Defences in Britian 1995 , 127 -28
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Dartmoor Magazine No.. date.... B.Wilkinson 27
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Mid 20th Century
Monument End Date : 1966
Monument Start Date : 1933
Monument Type : Underground Monitoring Post, Observation Post
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 24090
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 56 NE 380
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1394214
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 1454628
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 439024
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: WALKHAMPTON PREMIER ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE; FIELD INVESTIGATION PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2007-05-01
End Date : 2008-05-01