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HER Number:MDV102685
Name:Braunton Burrows, Tented Encampment


A tented encampment of Second World War date is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs between 1945 and 1958, part of the US Army Assault Training Centre. Similar cropmarks are known on the fringes of Braunton Burrows further north. A linear ditch is visible immediately to the north on aerial photographs between 1945 and 2010, and may be associated with the camp.


Grid Reference:SS 465 330
Map Sheet:SS43SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks and structural remains of World War II military training features for D-Day Landings on Braunton Burrows

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/251/2
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILITARY CAMP (World War II - 1943 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/LA/102, NMR RAF/106G/LA/102 5014-5015 17-JAN-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349060.

Cropmarks of a small campsite are visible, and an earthwork ditch is visible to the north.

Royal Air Force, 1958, RAF/80/744, NMR RAF/80/744 0073-0074 13-SEP-1958 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349746.

Cropmarks of the routeways between the rows of tents are visible.

Meridian Airmaps Limited, 1963, MAL/63603, NMR MAL/63603 115805-115806 11-JUN-1963 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349962.

The cropmarks of the campsite are not visible, but the ditch is clear as an earthwork.

Next Perspectives, 2010, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4633 08-APR-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349899.

The ditch is visible as an earthwork, but the campsite is not visible.

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

Fragmentary parchmarks on aerial photographs between 1945 and 1958 indicate the area of a Second World War military tented encampment immediately to the east of Braunton Burrows. The camp was probably part of one of the ‘tent cities’ which comprised the troop accommodation at the U.S. Army Assault Training Area from 1943 to 1944, mainly focused on the fringes of the Burrows further north. A linear ditch immediately to the north of the camp, approximately 140 metres in and 2 metres wide, is visible as an earthwork and may be associated with it. The camp appeared to have been organised in at least 12 rows; three pairs of rows appear to have had 20 tents circa 5 metres square within them, and a single row on the north also has cropmarks of tents visible within it. An additional four rows, perhaps shorter in length, are visible on the south. The routeways between the rows and the area around each discernable tent are visible as a pale parchmarks, the former location of each tent usually visible as a darker square cropmark. It has been possible only to transcribe the most definable elements of the camp and it might originally have been larger in extent. In 1958 the cropmarks which outline the arrangement of the campsite are more diffuse, but the rows are still visible. No cropmarks are visible from 1963 onwards and the compaction that presumably caused them may have become less pronounced. However the ditch is likely to survive as an earthwork.

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
SDV349060Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/LA/102. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/LA/102 5014-5015 17-JAN-1945. [Mapped features: #62162 ; #62163 ]
SDV349746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1958. RAF/80/744. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/80/744 0073-0074 13-SEP-1958.
SDV349899Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2010. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4633 08-APR-2010.
SDV349962Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1963. MAL/63603. Meridian Airmaps Limited Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR MAL/63603 115805-115806 11-JUN-1963.

Associated Monuments

MDV57283Part of: Braunton Areas A, B, C and D of US Assault Training Centre (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Jul 7 2017 12:31PM