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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1488043

Hob Uid: 1488043
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exford, Withypool and Hawkridge
Grid Ref : SS8148237183
Summary : Numerous small earthwork features visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s on the northern half of Withypool Common are probably related to military training activity of Second World War date. It is possible the earthworks relate to several different training exercises. Slit trenches of varying sizes and possibly functions are visible surrounding amorphous features, possibly low earthworks or levelled platforms. A tentative interpretation of these is as field gun platforms and possible ammunition store trenches. Two rows of similar circular features to the east may also be platforms but also resemble craters. Larger slit trenches bounded by flanking spoil heaps can be seen to the west of the common. Vehicle tracks encircle a number of these and they may be associated with vehicular training. This training site may be related to the broader activities of the Exmoor Firing Range.
More information : Numerous small possible earthwork features visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s on the northern half of Withypool Common, centred at circa SS 81603722, are probably related to military training activity of Second World War date.
It is possible the features relate to several different training exercises. Dense concentrations of narrow and short slit trenches are visible surrounding amorphous sub-circular features, possibly low earthworks or levelled platforms. A tentative interpretation of these is as field gun platforms and possible ammunition store trenches. Two rows of similar circular features to the east, totalling 25, may also be platforms but also resemble craters and may be evidence of test firing.
Fifteen larger slit trenches are visible to the west of the common, bounded by flanking spoil heaps. Vehicle tracks encircle a number of these and they may be obstructions created for military vehicular training.
This training area may be related to the broader activities of the Exmoor Firing Range and may created a small spread of craters circa 1.5 kilometres to the north-west.
Most of the features cannot be seen as earthworks on aerial photographs of 1964, but their location continues to be visible as differential vegetation growth. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 3418-9 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3320-21 11-APR-1947
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 543/2821 (F62) 0164 27-APR-1964
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Slit Trench, Gun Emplacement, Bomb Crater, Military Training Site
Evidence : Levelled Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 83 NW 65
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 870601
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01