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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1542665

Hob Uid: 1542665
Location :
Medway
High Halstow, Cooling
Grid Ref : TQ7655974477
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 north side of Lodge Hill Ordnance Depot (Monument 1077634) following a sharply angled course for 396 metres between Wybornes Wood and Lodge Hill Wood. The woods were 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 7667 7441. 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 of the anti tank ditch described in this record ran along the north side of Lodge Hill Ordnance Depot (Monument 1077634) following a sharply angled course on the north facing slope of Deangate Ridge, between Wybornes Wood and Lodge Hill Wood (TQ 7675 7455 to TQ 7646 7443) for a total distance of 396 metres. 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, with mounds of earth lying alongside the former ditch.

It is clear from the 1944 aerial photographs that the anti tank ditch did not continue through either Wybornes Wood or Lodge Hill Wood. The woods were instead utilised as part of the defensive line for a distance of 390.5 metres in Wybornes Wood and 510 metres in Lodge Hill Wood. There is no evidence of significant tree felling and regrowth before 1944, and pillboxes were placed along the northern edge of both woods, overlooking the marshes and lowland to the north. (2)

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 1542646, to the east, and 1542687, to the west). Supporting defensive features associated with this section of the Stop Line include pillboxes along the north edge of Wybornes Wood (Monuments 1426114, 1426124 and 1426117) and along the east and north edges of Lodge Hill Wood (Monuments 1426725, 1426724, 1426723 and 1426722).

Small gun emplacements and weapons pits lying near the edge of the cleared strip at TQ 7666 7439 and TQ 7651 7438 have not been recorded separately. Earthworks which may represent First World War practice trenches and redoubts are also visible within the cleared ground around the anti tank ditch, for example at TQ 7647 7447, TQ 7651 7444, TQ 7652 7440, TQ 7661 7444 and TQ 7641 7454, 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. (3)

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
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR US/7GR/LOC348 2065 27-MAY-1944
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 3
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Cathy Stoertz/14-JUL-2011/English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project
Page(s) :
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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 186
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1426124
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426117
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426722
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426099
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426109
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1542646
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426114
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1542687
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426725
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1546125
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426724
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1426723
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1546196
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1077634
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1548195
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1549853
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1549858
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1547594
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