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HER Number:MDV102324
Name:Direction Arrow on Bursdon Moor

Summary

A large arrow with a cross bar is visible on aerial photographs taken between 1959 and 1978. It may be concrete, and had become less distinct by 1978. No earthworks or structural remains were seen on a site visit in 2012. Although resembling a WWII bombing range target marker, this feature post-dates the Second World War and is probably associated with the Cold War, possibly to guide aircraft on radar calibration flights or to a bombing range and training area in the Bristol Channel.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 261 202
Map Sheet:SS22SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishClovelly
Civil ParishHartland
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishCLOVELLY
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DIRECTION ARROW (XX - 1959 AD to 1978 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158, DCC RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158 5184-5185 19-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349143.

No arrow is visible, although the narrow ridge and furrow is clearly visible as earthworks.


Royal Air Force, 1959, RAF/58/2984, NMR RAF/58/2984 F22 0031-0032 30-JUN-1959 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349064.

A large white arrow with cross bar is visible.


Ordnance Survey, 1978, OS/78038, NMR OS/78038 308-309 10-MAY-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349082.

The arrow is just visible as a darker grey feature.


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

A large arrow pointing north with a cross bar, 14 metres north to south and 9 metres east to west, and is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1959. The arrow is very white, and may be made of concrete, perhaps whitewashed. It is visible as a dark grey feature on aerial photographs dating to 1978, and the arrowhead is indistinct, indicating that it was not actively maintained. The arrow is not visible on any available later aerial photographs and no earthworks or structural remains were visible in this location on a site visit in 2012. Although resembling a WWII bombing range target marker, this feature post-dates the Second World War as it is not visible on 1946 aerial photographs, which show the underlying ridge and furrow earthworks clearly. There are no visible bomb craters on any available aerial photographs. However it is likely to be a military feature, probably associated with the Cold War, to provide direction to aircraft, possibly to keep on course for radar calibration or provide orientation towards a bombing range and training area in the Bristol Channel.


Horner, B., 2012, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV349519.

The arrow may be a guide for aircraft on radar calibration flights.


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.

No structural or earthwork evidence of the arrow was seen, although the focus of the visit was not this specific feature which was only seen on aerial photographs after the site visit.


Roger Thomas, Architectural Investigator, English Heritage, 2012-2013, Telephone and email correspondence (Personal Comment). SDV349402.

The arrow is not the usual range direction type, but some targets have arrowheads.


Passmore, A., 2012-2015, Personal communication, 2012 (Personal Comment). SDV349520.

Rather than being the target this may be a guidance arrow for pilots on a run into a bombing range. In the post-war period Hartland radar station provided range safety radar for a bombing range and training area in the Bristol Channel. The local website http://www.hartlandforum.co.uk/archivesproject/T53.htm suggests that the Hartland radar station could have been used to direct lost aircraft to an airfield. However, the nearest airfield on the same bearing is Pembury in south Wales, across the Bristol Channel.

Sources / Further Reading

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
SDV349064Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1959. RAF/58/2984. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/58/2984 F22 0031-0032 30-JUN-1959. [Mapped feature: #61774 ]
SDV349082Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1978. OS/78038. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/78038 308-309 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 5184-5185 19-APR-1946.
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.
SDV349402Personal Comment: Roger Thomas, Architectural Investigator, English Heritage. 2012-2013. Telephone and email correspondence.
SDV349519Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 2012. Not Applicable.
SDV349520Personal Comment: Passmore, A.. 2012-2015. Personal communication. Not Applicable. 2012.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Aug 19 2015 3:03PM