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HER Number:MDV102710
Name:Curving surfaced roadway and barbed wire entanglement used in military training at Broadsands


A barbed wire entanglement and complex of roadways and platforms are visible as structures and earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1945. They are part of the Second World War U.S. Army military training area, the structura components probably removed by 1946. The earthworks have probably been levelled by water action.


Grid Reference:SS 471 330
Map Sheet:SS43SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
Civil ParishHeanton Punchardon
DistrictNorth Devon

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILITARY ROAD (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))
  • PLATFORM (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/LA/221, NMR RAF/106G/LA/1221 5033-5034 15-APR-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349986.

Several platforms and surfaced roadways are visible as structures and earthworks. An ephemeral structure in three rows is also visible.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1655, NMR RAF/106G/1655 4197-4198 11-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349996.

Some rectangular earthworks, but no structures except a rectangular grid pattern of posts are visible.

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

A platform, circa 7 by 10 metres, linked to three rectangular platforms further up the shore by a double line of what appear to be concrete slabs, is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1945. An additional two or three similar features are visible to the east, but with a rectangular depression on the seaward side, suggesting that a roadway or platform may have been removed. The roadways are flanked by small structures, possibly lights. On the south-east of these features is an ephemeral structure 4 by 50 metres, with three rows of posts longitudinally, perpendicular to the shore. This is a barbed wire entanglement mimicking the beach obstructions found in Normandy, used by the U.S. Army during training for Operation Overlord, and the roadways may have been to enable vehicle access to this area. The structures appear to have been removed by 1946, but the sites of the platforms are visible as shallow rectangular earthwork pits. These have probably been levelled by natural processes since as they are not visible on later available aerial photographs.

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
SDV349986Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/LA/221. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/LA/1221 5033-5034 15-APR-1945. [Mapped feature: #62201 ]
SDV349996Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1655. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/1655 4197-4198 11-JUL-1946.

Associated Monuments

MDV102705Part of: Military training area between Broadsands and Crow Point, Braunton Burrows. (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Jan 29 2013 11:19AM