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HER Number:MDV103280
Name:Possible Observation Post or Pillbox above Barracane Beach, Woolacombe


A square structure, visible on aerial photographs since 1946, is interpreted as a military stucture, perhaps a pillbox or observation post. It appears to be extant on aerial photographs in 2007.


Grid Reference:SS 453 441
Map Sheet:SS44SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMortehoe
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMORTEHOE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • OBSERVATION POST? (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX? (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1501 3277-3278 13-MAY-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349927.

A small square structure is visible.

Royal Air Force, 1958, RAF 58/2555, NMR RAF/P58/2555 PSFO-P1 0367-0368 SS4643/3-SS4643/4 01-SEP-1958 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350309.

The structure is visible with a flat roof and possible mast on one corner.

British Broadcasting Corporation, 2006, WW2 People's War, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/94/a1969194.shtml (Website). SDV350519.

Three observation posts were set up at Barracane, Marine Drive and Putsborough run by the WRAF to triangulate the impact of the bombs.' woolacombegirl, BBC People's War, 04-NOV-2003

Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4543 04-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349344.

The square building is visible as a structure.

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

A small square building is visible as a structure on aerial photographs between 1946 and 2007, above Barracane Beach. It is flat roofed and appears to have a mast or similar structure on aerial photographs taken in 1958. It is likely to be a pillbox or observation post created during the Second World War to monitor or defend against military activity along the coast. The most likely interpretation is that it is the triangulation post built of concrete blocks circa 1940 to observe the accuracy of bombing practise at sea recorded by Gunn (1999) at Barracane; a photograph on page 57 shows a square building with blocked up window on one side and a doorway with a small extension on another landward face. Its current condition is not known.

Gunn, B., n.d. [1999], Tales of Old Woolacombe, 44; 57 (Monograph). SDV350728.

Triangulation post of concrete blocks was built at Barricane in 1940 and also at Putsborough and Marine Drive. A photograph of the post at Barracane is included.

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: SS4543 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 3277-3278 13-MAY-1946. [Mapped feature: #62754 ]
SDV350309Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1958. RAF 58/2555. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/P58/2555 PSFO-P1 0367-0368 SS4643/3-SS4643/4 01-SEP-1958.
SDV350519Website: British Broadcasting Corporation. 2006. WW2 People's War. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/. Website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/94/a1969194.shtml.
SDV350728Monograph: Gunn, B.. n.d. [1999]. Tales of Old Woolacombe. Tales of Old Woolacombe. 44; 57.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Dec 7 2012 5:17PM