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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1036078

Hob Uid: 1036078
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Brendon and Countisbury
Grid Ref : SS7726544039
Summary : The remains of a reinforced concrete and brick structure are visible on Hoccombe Hill, within the Exmoor Firing range and characterised by random lumps of concrete and reinforcing bars projecting from the ground. It is visible on aerial photographs taken in May 1946 as a standing building, but by July 1946 has been destroyed. The purpose of the strucutre is unclear but it is believed to be some sort of test facility of World War II date, possibly related to the Exmoor firing ranges.
More information : Centred at SS 7723 4415 are the vestiges of a demolished building, associated with the WW2 Exmoor Firing Ranges (2) on Hoccombe Hill.

The remains of the reinforced concrete and brick structure are characterised by random lumps of concrete and reinforcing bars projecting from the ground. There are sections of concrete flooring, some of which appears to be in situ. Although the dimensions of the structure are not known, the remains are concentrated within an area measuring 10m by 18m. To the north are the remains of drainage channels and man-hole pits, presumably associated with drainage or sanitation arrangements. Other areas of concrete and brick may represent other buildings.

A striking feature of the site are lines of reinforced concrete posts. They radiate out from the building and are oriented on bearings at 45 degree intervals, although some of the posts appear to be missing. Related to magnetic north, they are 20, 65, 155, 200, 245 and 335 degrees. Substantially constructed, of reinforced, shuttered concrete, they stand 1.4m high and 0.15m square.

The function of the structure and posts is uncertain. It may be an Observation building but is more likely to be associated with some other use of this area by the military.

Large-scale survey and further documentary research is required to fully elucidate the purpose of this site. (1)


Centred at SS 77274403 are the vestiges of a demolished building and associated concrete posts, associated with the WW2 Exmoor Firing Ranges (SS 74 NE 46, SS 74 SE 110, SS 84 SW 133). The site has now been surveyed by RCHME at 1:1000 scale.

The function of the building is not currently known. It is presently considered most likely to have been some sort of test facility, and is either associated with conventional warfare, artillery or chemical weapons testing. Whatever the case, the remains form an exceptional monument, probably unique on Exmoor. (2-6)

The building described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946. The map reference quoted by authority 1 is incorrect, and the building is located as SS 7727 4403. In May 1946, the building is standing and appears as a substantial complex, with several projections, measuring approximately 16 metres long and 7 metres wide. It seems to be aligned north-east. There are no traces of vehicle tracks around the building; however, numerous impact craters can be seen in the immediate vicinty, apparently following an east-west line of fire.
On the photographs taken in July 1946, the building has been almost completely destoyed, and the form and size can no longer be discerned. This would indicate that the building may have been destroyed deliberately sometime around June 1946, possibly by using explosives (7-8).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Wilson-North, WR 26-Apr-1994 RCHME Field Investigation.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Information from Jack Edwards, a former sergeant invlolved in the administration of the ranges. (12 Oakleigh, Pinnocks Moor, Tiverton, Devon).
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Source Number : 3
Source : Brendon, WWII structure and concrete posts at SS 74 SE 109/ink survey
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Source Number : 4
Source : Brendon, WWII structure and concrete posts at SS 74 SE 109/interpretation plan
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Wilson-North, WR 1-Nov-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 6
Source : Brendon, WWII structure and concrete posts at SS 74 SE 109
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Source Number : 7
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1501 4219-20 13-MAY-1946
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Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1655 4074-75 11-JUL-1946
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : WWII
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : Military Building
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Building, Military Training Site
Evidence : Ruined Building, Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 55109
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE12599
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 SE 109
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 871490
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1002147
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1036092
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 74 SE 109
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1994-04-26
End Date : 1994-04-26
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 74 SE 109
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1995-11-01
End Date : 1995-11-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01