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HER Number:MDV102248
Name:Military building south-east of Baxworthy Cross, Hartland

Summary

An octagonal building concealed in a hedgebank is visible on aerial photographs between 1946 and 2007. It superficially resembles a pillbox but may in fact be part of an early radar station aerial constructed in 1939 and associated with the building to the north-west. Alternatively it is part of a structure that housed a high frequency radio direction finding aerial. Although the roof was completely lost between 1978 and 1999, the external walls and an internal wall are extant.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 281 225
Map Sheet:SS22SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHartland
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Thompson, S., 16/07/2014, Heritage Gateway feedback about Monument ID: MDV102248 (Correspondence). SDV356873.

It is suggested that the building is not a radar station building but part of a structure that housed a high frequency radio direction finding aerial. HFDF or RDF is sometimes considered to be an early form of radar which is where the misinterpretation may come from. It was a pre-war method of triangulating an aircraft’s location based on its radio transmissions. These were normally built in groups of three to aid in signal triangulation. The best known surviving group of these structures for comparison is at Halnaker Hill near Chichester. Another exists in Devon close to the east end of the runway at Exeter airport.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1631, NMR RAF 106G/UK/1631 3070-3071 08-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349549.

An octagonal building is visible with eight pale features visible around it.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158, DCC RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158 5072-5073 19-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349143.

An octagonal building in the centre of a field boundary bank is visible. It has cast a longer shadow than would be expected from a pillbox, and may have superstructure.


Ordnance Survey, 1978, OS/78038, NMR OS/78038 372-373 10-MAY-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349082.

The western part of the roof structure appears to have been lost from the building.


GetMapping, 1999 - 2000, Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping (Aerial Photograph). SDV321648.

The building is roofless. Hard copies of these photographs were not available for viewing.


Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS2822 22-AUG-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349178.

The building is roofless but the external and an internal wall are clearly visible.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

An octagonal building concealed in a hedgebank is visible on aerial photographs between 1946 and 2007. It resembles a pillbox in plan, but is in an unusual position for a pillbox, and a shadow cast in the 1946 aerial photographs indicates that it was much taller than most pillboxes. An unverified website states that it is the remains of an aerial for the WWII radar station at Baxworthy, but does not give a specific source for this information. Eight possible tethering points around the structure are visible on aerial photographs taken in summer 1946 and support an interpretation as a radar station with a mast. The building was viewed from the road and found to stand to a height of at least 2 metres in 2012, and although its roof was partially lost before 1978 and completely gone by 1999, an interior wall is visible on 2007 aerial photographs.


Hartland Forum: Archives Project, 2012, Hartland Forum, T53 (Website). SDV349378.

The building is described as the aerial for the WWII radar station at Baxworthy, constructed in 1939. Further details and photographs given at http://www.hartlandforum.co.uk/archivesproject/T53.htm, although no specific source is given for the information on this particular building.


Hegarty, C. & Knight, S., 2012-2013, North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit, 18-APR-2012 (Site Visit). SDV349357.

The building is roofless with internal tree growth, but survives to a height of at least two metres, with the entrance and at least one opening visible from the road.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV321648Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999 - 2000. Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping. Millennium Map. Photograph (Digital).
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349082Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1978. OS/78038. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/78038 372-373 10-MAY-1978.
SDV349143Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158 5072-5073 19-APR-1946. [Mapped feature: #61696 ]
SDV349178Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS2822 22-AUG-2007.
SDV349357Site Visit: Hegarty, C. & Knight, S.. 2012-2013. North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit. ND AONB NMP. Digital. 18-APR-2012.
SDV349378Website: Hartland Forum: Archives Project. 2012. Hartland Forum. http://www.hartlandforum.co.uk/archivesproject/. T53.
SDV349549Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1631. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF 106G/UK/1631 3070-3071 08-JUL-1946.
SDV356873Correspondence: Thompson, S.. 16/07/2014. Heritage Gateway feedback about Monument ID: MDV102248. Comment on MDV102248. Email.

Associated Monuments

MDV102250Related to: Rotor fixer site or radar station admin block south-east of Baxworthy Cross (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Jul 17 2014 10:08AM