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HER Number:MDV102705
Name:Military training area between Broadsands and Crow Point, Braunton Burrows.

Summary

The area between Broadsands and Crow Neck was used for military training in the Second Word War; the 'embarkation beaches' were a core part of the US training area for Operation Overlord. Numerous structures, pits and tracks are visible on aerial photographs dating from 1945 to 1946, but only a few are visible on later aerial photographs taken in the 1950s, and very few manifest in a recognisable form above the ground surface in 2010. They are described in greater detail in individual records. The site continued in military use and later structures are visible on aerial photographs into the 1950s.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 468 325
Map Sheet:SS43SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
Civil ParishHeanton Punchardon
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishHEANTON PUNCHARDON
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1944, RAF/106G/LA/88 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349744.

Numerous earthworks and structures are visible and are described in separate records.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF 106G/LA/267 FPO, NMR RAF/106G/LA/265 FPO/0013 SS4632/049 04-MAY-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349861.

Anti-invasion obstacles in the form of concrete blocks with poles embedded in them are visible on the foreshore, but it is not possible to transcribe them exactly.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/LA/132, NMR RAF/106G/LA/132 5026-5034 14-FEB-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349061.

Numerous earthworks and structures are visible and are described in separate records.


Royal Air Force, 1952, RAF/540/949, NMR RAF/540/1949 5032-5033 24-NOV-1952 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349761.

A complex of structures, not visible on the 1940s aerial photographs, is visible on the foreshore.


Royal Air Force, 1954, RAF/82/1031 (F22), NMR RAF/82/1031 F22 0001-0002 29-SEP-1954 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349945.

The structures on the foreshore have been removed, but a mast or light and possible generator are visible.


Royal Air Force, 1956, RAF/540/1768, NMR RAF 540/1768 0025-0026 03-JAN-1956 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349763.

A barge or platform is visible on the foreshore.


Meridian Airmaps Limited, 1963, MAL/63603, NMR MAL/63603 115804-115805 11-JUN-1963 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349962.

The platform is not visible.


Bass, R. T., 2005, Spirits of the Sand: Field Edition, 31-33 (Monograph). SDV325697.

Embarkation beaches extended across the area from the north shore of Broadsands to Crow Neck.


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

The area of Broadsands to Crow Neck was used for military training and development in the Second Word War, a core part of the US training area for Operation Overlord, and military training is in evidence here into the 1950s. Replica Normandy beach defences, numerous other structures, pits and tracks are visible on aerial photographs dating from 1945 to 1946, but only a few are visible on later aerial photographs taken in the 1950s, and only a very few manifest in a recognisable form above the ground surface in 2010. Greater detail on the individual features is available in the linked records, although it was not always possible to identify exact locations, for example for the anti-invasion blocks with embedded poles visible on the foreshore on oblique aerial photographs of 1945.
The area continued in military use after the Second World War, and numerous features visible on aerial photographs but not transcribed include:
A complex of structures on the intertidal zone, comprising a rectangular temporary covered structure circa 15 by 7 metres at approximately SS4647632222, which is surrounded by an extensive grid of what appear to be masts, spaced at intervals of circa 12 metres, 7 rows deep and 250 metres long. A group of similar mast-like structures at the side of the dunes at SS4638932169 is apparently awaiting placement. Several vehicles and trailers are visible and the complex is apparently in the process of construction, with large rectangular containers visible at approximately SS4645932410 and numerous trackways. The function of this complex is uncertain but it may be associated with military testing and relatively short lived; none of the structures are visible in aerial photographs taken in 1954.
A mast or light with possible generator at approximately SS4635632491, visible on aerial photographs taken in 1956 only.
A rectangular barge or platform 10 by 45 metres with possible sloping entrances at each short end is visible at approximately SS4652632179 in aerial photographs from 1956, but removed by 1963.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325697Monograph: Bass, R. T.. 2005. Spirits of the Sand: Field Edition. Spirits of the Sand. A5 Paperback. 31-33.
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
SDV349061Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/LA/132. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/LA/132 5026-5034 14-FEB-1945. [Mapped feature: #62194 ]
SDV349744Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1944. RAF/106G/LA/88. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV349761Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1952. RAF/540/949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/540/1949 5032-5033 24-NOV-1952.
SDV349763Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1956. RAF/540/1768. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF 540/1768 0025-0026 03-JAN-1956.
SDV349861Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF 106G/LA/267 FPO. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/LA/265 FPO/0013 SS4632/049 04-MAY-1945.
SDV349945Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1954. RAF/82/1031 (F22). Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/82/1031 F22 0001-0002 29-SEP-1954.
SDV349962Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1963. MAL/63603. Meridian Airmaps Limited Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR MAL/63603 115804-115805 11-JUN-1963.

Associated Monuments

MDV102722Parent of: A possible minefield north of Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102728Parent of: Anti-tank obstacles at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102730Parent of: Anti-tank obstacles at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102731Parent of: Anti-tank obstacles at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV57288Parent of: Concrete wall and anti-tank obstacles used for military training at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102712Parent of: Craters on the foreshore at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102708Parent of: Craters, trenches and barbed wire entanglement used in military training at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102710Parent of: Curving surfaced roadway and barbed wire entanglement used in military training at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102940Parent of: Earthworks from mines or military training on the foreshore at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102743Parent of: Jetty at Crow Point, probably part of the U.S. Army Assault Training Centre. (Monument)
MDV102744Parent of: Possible anti-tank obstacle at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102727Parent of: Possible anti-tank obstacles at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102723Parent of: Possible minefields on the foreshore at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102732Parent of: Probable military platforms or markers at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102734Parent of: Probable military slipway at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102717Parent of: Scaffolded enclosure south-west of Crow Beach House (Monument)
MDV102714Parent of: Two possible minefields on the foreshore at Broadsands (Monument)
MDV102729Parent of: Two scaffold structures on Broadsands (Monument)
MDV103067Parent of: Wall used in military training at Broadsands (Monument)
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:Dec 11 2013 12:09PM