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HER Number:MDV102992
Name:Anti-invasion defences in the intertidal zone at Braunton Burrows

Summary

Anti-invasion defences at Braunton Burrows are visible on aerial photographs taken in 1941 as crater earthworks from a probable minefield and as post structures forming obstacles on the beach. They were probably cleared when the U.S. Army established the Assault Training Centre here later in the Second World War.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 443 349
Map Sheet:SS43SW
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

  • ANTI TANK OBSTACLE (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MINEFIELD (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • POLE (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1941, RAF/1416/S171, NMR RAF/5171 20-21 01-JUN-1941 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349742.

Numerous earthwork craters and probable post structures are visible.


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

Craters and posts on the sands west of Braunton Burrows are visible as earthworks and structures on aerial photographs dating to June 1941. They are interpreted as anti-invasion defences to prevent enemy beach landings, presumably including mines. The linear structure along the edge of the dunes recorded in MDV102967 is likely to be an associated barbed wire structure, preventing the public accessing this dangerous area from inland as well as defending against attack from the sea and air. The intertidal defences may have extended further to the south, and were probably cleared when the U.S. Army established the Assault Training Centre here later in the Second World War. Similar beach obstacles were located at Croyde.


2012, Explore Braunton, http://www.explorebraunton.org/saunton-world-war-ii.aspx Accessed 12/10/2012 (Website). SDV350316.

Saunton Golf Clubhouse was used to house the Beachmine Clearance Detachment after the war, when Polish troops and German Prisoners of War were employed to clear the mines left on the beach. The area had not only been used for training but was also vulnerable to attack and, as well as placing mines on the beach, stout posts were driven into the beach to prevent enemy planes from landing there.

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
SDV349742Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1941. RAF/1416/S171. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/5171 20-21 01-JUN-1941. [Mapped feature: #62492 ]
SDV350316Website: 2012. Explore Braunton. http://www.explorebraunton.org/home.aspx. Website. http://www.explorebraunton.org/saunton-world-war-ii.aspx Accessed 12/10/2012.

Associated Monuments

MDV103040Related to: Anti-invasion defences in the intertidal zone at Croyde Sands (Monument)
MDV102995Related to: Anti-invasion defensive enclosure at Braunton Burrows (Monument)
MDV102967Related to: Enclosed 'Danger' areas within the Assault Training Centre, 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