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HER Number:MDV102428
Name:Possible military site south-east of Woolfardisworthy Cross


A complex of cropmarks, earthworks and structural remains is visible on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s. It is tentatively interpreted as a military site of probable WWII date, possibly associated with 1940s activity in a field to the east. The remains had probably been levelled through agricultural activity by the 1970s, but some below-ground remains may survive.


Grid Reference:SS 315 231
Map Sheet:SS32SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishClovelly
Ecclesiastical ParishCLOVELLY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS32SW/21

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158, DCC RAF/TUD/UK/158 5077-5078 19-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349143.

Banks, ditches, and possibly foundations are visible as earthworks, cropmarks and structures. Map object partly based on this source.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF CPE/UK/1989, NMR RAF CPE/UK/1989 1002-1003 12-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349551.

A circular dark pit is visible as a cropmark. Map object partly based on this source.

Ordnance Survey, 1978, OS/78016, NMR OS/78016 085-086 16-APR-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349080.

No remains are visible, and the adjacent field boundaries have been removed.

Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Persepectives Tile Ref: SS3123 22-AUG-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349178.

The removed field boundaries are visible as cropmarks, but no other features are visible. Part of the site has been developed, including landscaping and tree planting.

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

A complex of cropmarks, earthworks and structural remains, approximately 150 metres by 50 metres, is visible on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s. Two pale rectangular features, 10 by 5 metres and 11 by 5 metres in size, are visible next to the road at SS3163323219. They may be building foundations, perhaps of concrete construction. Several other rectangular features of similar size are visible as pale cropmarks next to the road in the field to the north at SS3161223255, and as earthwork platforms and ditched areas, possibly linked by linear features, extending to the south-west as far as SS3158123176. One outlying earthwork feature of subrectangular shape, 65 metres south-west of the main complex, appears to include a sunken or eroded U-shaped ditch, with a bank or wall along its south-east side. It is linked to the road by a track and is larger than the other features at 14 by 20 metres. The complex appears to have been relatively recently removed and may have a WWII date and potentially a military function. A dark circular cropmark, approximately 9 metres in diameter, is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947, and appears to have formed over an infilled pit. Burial of debris is known at abandoned WWII sites in other parts of Devon, and could also be an explanation for this feature. Only some of the earthworks visible on the 1946 aerial photographs are discernable in the 1947 aerial photographs, and at least one of the rectangular structures next to the road appears to have been destroyed. None are visible on 1970s aerial photographs, when the land seems to have been improved and some field boundaries removed. The former boundaries, but no other remains, are visible as cropmarks in aerial photographs dating to 2007, although some buried remains may survive below ground. It is possible that a ditch and ground disturbance in a field 300 metres to the east is also related to military activity in this area.

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
SDV349080Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1978. OS/78016. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/78016 085-086 16-APR-1978.
SDV349143Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC RAF/TUD/UK/158 5077-5078 19-APR-1946.
SDV349178Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Persepectives Tile Ref: SS3123 22-AUG-2007.
SDV349551Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1989. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF CPE/UK/1989 1002-1003 12-APR-1947.

Associated Monuments

MDV102427Related to: Possible military training ditch south-east of Woolfardisworthy Cross (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Jul 3 2012 11:58AM