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HER Number:MDV102985
Name:Military trackways across Braunton Burrows


A trackway linking the Training Aids of the Second World War U.S. Army’s Assault Training Centre in the north-west of Braunton Burrows is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs between the 1940s and 1960s. Although not generally visible on later aerial photographs some of the more substantial earthworks may survive below the vegetation.


Grid Reference:SS 447 370
Map Sheet:SS43NW
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

  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROAD (World War II - 1943 AD to 1945 AD)

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1501 3003-3004 13-MAY-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349927.

An earthwork trackway or road is visible.

Meridian Airmaps Limited, 1963, MAL/63603, NMR MAL/63603 115830-115831 11-JUN-1963 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349962.

The route is visible as an earthwork with some vegetation growth.

Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4437 04-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349344.

The trackways are not generally visible, with the exception of a narrow short section showing as bare sand at SS4495737369.

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

A routeway running roughly north to south along the south-west edge of the dune system at Braunton Burrows is visible as an interrupted negative earthwork on aerial photographs taken in 1946. No surfacing is visible, and it is likely that the earthwork was formed by compaction and erosion of sands from vehicle movements. The winding route of the trackway is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs taken in 1969, but it does not appear to be in use by this date as some scrub growth has developed and no bare sand is visible along the route. The routeway runs between the ‘Danger Area’ and the Training Aids marked on the Second World War U.S. Army plan of the Assault Training Centre, and presumably allows access to the individual sites, although it is not marked on the plan itself and may not have originally been a formal track. An additional curvilinear section of trackway to the east partly coincides with a main north-south route marked on the plans which curves towards the beach at the north of the Burrows, and has an offshoot that seems to provide access to an area numbered ‘66’. Although a few parts of the track are just visible on aerial photographs taken in 2007 as very narrow winding routes of bare sand, the earthworks are in general overgrown and not visible, although the more significant earthworks are likely to survive below the vegetation.

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
SDV349344Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4437 04-MAY-2007.
SDV349927Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1501. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1501 3003-3004 13-MAY-1946. [Mapped feature: #62486 ]
SDV349962Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1963. MAL/63603. Meridian Airmaps Limited Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR MAL/63603 115830-115831 11-JUN-1963.

Associated Monuments

MDV57283Part of: Braunton Areas A, B, C and D of US Assault Training Centre (Monument)
MDV74006Related to: American Road, Braunton Burrows (Monument)
MDV102510Related to: Possible sections of the America Road, Braunton Burrows (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Jul 7 2017 12:33PM