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HER Number:MDV102486
Name:Possible barbed wire obstructions, Northam Burrows

Summary

Possible anti-invasion coastal defence barbed wire obstructions of Second World War date are visible on Northam Burrows as structures on aerial photographs of the 1940s.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 440 311
Map Sheet:SS43SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNortham
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTHAM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BARBED WIRE OBSTRUCTION? (World War II - 1941 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1941, RAF/S171, NMR RAF/S171 13-14 01-JUN-1941 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349056.

Possible barbed wire obstructions are visible along the coast.


Royal Air Force, 1944, RAF/106G/LA/88, NMR RAF/106G/LA/88 FPO-0043 SS/4431/012 31-DEC-44 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349744.

A post and wire stock fence is visible as a structure, the presence of barbed wire inferred from adjacent patterned rough ground.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/LA/102, NMR RAF/106G/LA/102 5029 17-JAN-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349060.

Possible barbed wire obstructions are visible along the coast and defining enclosures inland between Sandymere and the coastguard station. Broader dark areas adjacent might indicate broader entanglements have been installed.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/LA/132, NMR RAF/106G/LA/132 5023-5024 14-FEB-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349061.

The possible barbed wire obstructions are not visible and might have have been removed.


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

Possible anti-invasion coastal defence barbed wire obstructions are visible on aerial photographs of 1941 to 1945 on Northam Burrows. The possible anti-invasion defences are visible as narrow dark lines following the shoreline from Westward Ho! to the northern tip of Northam Burrows. From the northern edge of Sandymere to the northern tip of the Burrows the probable barbed wire can be seen to define five possible strongpoints or enclosures. Such strongpoints are often a feature of early Second World War anti-invasion coastal defences. The northernmost strongpoint encloses two or three short earthwork ditches which might be military slit trenches. The barbed wire is not discernible on military oblique aerial photographs of December 1944, but its presence alongside a probable stock enclosure fence might be inferred by visibly rough, uncut or ungrazed grass. The possible barbed wire appears to have been cleared between January and February 1945. Linear features that cut across the Burrows in an inverted ‘V’ shape to the east of Sandymere, and continue to be visible in to 1946 might also be barbed wire, but could simply be a second stock enclosure fence.


Passmore, A. J., 2013, Northam Burrows FEP Consultation Pro-forma (Report - non-specific). SDV356811.

This asset was removed towards the end of the war, and no remains were recorded in situ.


Passmore, A., 2014, Northam Burrows, Northam, Devon: Higher Level Stewardship Scheme Archaeological Survey, 5-6, 8; Appendix 1.3 (Report - Survey). SDV356810.

The main coastal defences were barbed wire obstructions intermixed with minefields. From the south-west end of the burrows, the bulk of the barbed wire obstructions followed the outside of the pebble ridge, and from north of Sandymere followed the outside edge of the sand dunes behind the pebble ridge. To the rear the dunes were also enclosed by barbed wire obstructions.

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
SDV349056Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1941. RAF/S171. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/S171 13-14 01-JUN-1941.
SDV349060Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/LA/102. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/LA/102 5029 17-JAN-1945.
SDV349061Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/LA/132. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/LA/132 5023-5024 14-FEB-1945.
SDV349744Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1944. RAF/106G/LA/88. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/LA/88 FPO-0043 SS/4431/012 31-DEC-44.
SDV356810Report - Survey: Passmore, A.. 2014. Northam Burrows, Northam, Devon: Higher Level Stewardship Scheme Archaeological Survey. AC Archaeology. CD760/2/3. A4 Bound + Digital. 5-6, 8; Appendix 1.3.
SDV356811Report - non-specific: Passmore, A. J.. 2013. Northam Burrows FEP Consultation Pro-forma. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV107447Parent of: Dump of Barbed Wire on Northam Burrows (Monument)
MDV107443Parent of: Dump of Second World War Fence Posts (Monument)
MDV102487Related to: Possible slit trenches, Northam Burrows. (Monument)
MDV102490Related to: Second World War fence or obstruction, Northam Burrows. (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project
  • EDV6518 - Archaeological Survey of Northam Burrows (Ref: ACD760)

Date Last Edited:Aug 5 2014 3:32PM