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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1542646

Hob Uid: 1542646
Location :
Medway
High Halstow
Grid Ref : TQ7727474264
Summary : Part of a Second World War anti tank ditch, constructed in 1940 across the Hoo peninsula from the north bank of the Medway near Hoo St Werburgh to the south bank of the Thames at Higham Creek (Monument 1542577). The ditch across Hoo was part of the system of GHQ Stop Lines designed to halt or delay the advance of a German invasion force landing in southern and south eastern England. The section described in this record ran along the east side of Lodge Hill Ordnance Depot (Monument 1077634) from the east gate of the depot to the north eastern corner of Wybornes Wood, a distance of 715 metres. The wood was also incorporated as part of the defensive line. This part of the anti tank ditch is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs although the first photographs, taken in 1944, show this section already out of use and being backfilled. The other parts of the Stop Line ditch, as well as the many pillboxes, gun emplacements and roadblocks that accompanied it, have been recorded separately. The whole anti tank ditch system on Hoo has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.
More information : Centred at TQ 7733 7430. Part of a Second World War anti tank ditch, constructed in 1940 across the Hoo peninsula from the north bank of the Medway near Hoo St Werburgh to the south bank of the Thames at Higham Creek (Monument 1542577). The ditch across Hoo was part of the system of GHQ Stop Lines designed to halt or delay the advance of a German invasion force landing in southern and south eastern England. (1)

The section described in this record ran along the east side of Lodge Hill Ordnance Depot (Monument 1077634) from the east gate of the depot at TQ 7739 7382 to the north eastern corner of Wybornes Wood at TQ 7715 7459, a distance of 715 metres. The first aerial photographs of this section, taken in 1944, show this section already out of use and being backfilled, with mounds of earth visible alongside the former ditch.

It is clear from the 1944 aerial photographs that the anti tank ditch did not continue through Wybornes Wood. The wood was instead utilised as part of the defensive line for a distance of 390.5 metres and there is no evidence of significant tree felling and regrowth before 1944. Pillboxes were placed along the northern edge of the wood, overlooking the marshes. (2-3)

The other parts of the Stop Line ditch, as well as many pillboxes, gun emplacements and roadblocks that accompanied it, have been recorded separately (adjacent Stop Line sections are Monuments 1542630 to the south, and 1542665 to the west). Supporting defensive features associated with this section of the Stop Line include: a roadblock and pillbox directly in front of the entrance to the depot (roadblock Monument 1426742; pillbox 1544248); a pillbox midway along this section at TQ 7730 7426 (Monument 1426121); a pillbox at the northern end of this section where the ditch meets the edge of Wybornes Wood (Monument 1426114); and a pillbox approximately midway along the northern edge of Wybornes Wood at TQ 7700 7457 (Monument 1426124). Several small gun emplacements and weapons pits lying at the edge of the cleared strip at TQ 7736 7412 have not been recorded separately.

The whole anti tank ditch system on Hoo has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Beaches, fields, streets and hills: the anti-invasion landscape of England, 1940
Source details : Foot, W.
Page(s) : 406-413
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR US/7GR/LOC348 2065 27-MAY-1944
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF/CPE/UK/1923 4081 16-JAN-1947
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Source Number : 4
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Cathy Stoertz/14-JUL-2011/English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 77 SE 185
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1426124
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1441600
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426742
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1542630
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1544248
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1542665
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426121
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426114
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1546157
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1077634
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1545475
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1549971
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: HOO PENINSULA LANDSCAPE PROJECT NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2010-09-01
End Date : 2012-03-01