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HER Number:MDV103380
Name:Military Camp North of Woolacombe Station

Summary

The remains of one of several Second World War military camps in this area associated with US Army training is visible on aerial photographs between 1946 and 1948 as a complex of tracks, hut platforms and cropmarks of tent locations. All remains appear to have been removed soon after the end of the war.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 480 443
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

  • MILITARY CAMP? (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY DEPOT? (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Full description

Royal Air Force, 19/05/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2082, NMR RAF/CPE/UK/2082 3072-3073 19-MAY-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350392.

Earthworks are visible on the site of the removed structures, and one structure and the rows of roughly square cropmarks are still visible.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1501 3281-3282 13-MAY-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349927.

The complex is visible, and all but one of the structures appears to have been removed.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1631, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1631 1088 08-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349549.

A complex of structures, trackways and rows of square pale cropmarks is visible.

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

The remains of a military complex is visible within a field on aerial photographs between 1946 and 1947 as a complex of tracks, structures and rows of small roughly square cropmarks. The fifteen structures are rectangular in plan, between 7 and 14 metres in length and 3.5 metres wide, and are located at the southern, eastern, northern and western edges of the field. The exception to this is one larger low structure in the north-east part of the field, measuring 11 by 8 metres with two small protrusions on the northern side. This may be a hut base for a temporary structure with two porches.
The trackways link the road to the structures and the parallel rows of small cropmarks perpendicular to the road, each measuring circa 4.5 metres square. They are interpreted as resulting from compaction caused by US Army tents during the Second World War, one of several such sites in this area (see also MDV103142 and MDV103378). They may have been for staroage rather than accommodation, as Gunn (1999) states that many fields in the area were used as 'stores dumps'.
There are a minimum of 18 rows of up to 18 tent places visible, although more probably extended to the north, and they are arranged either side of the 3 metre wide linear trackways.
Between May and July 1946 all but the largest of the structures appears to have been removed, and the last visible evidence of the camp on the available aerial photographs dates to 1947, suggesting that the remaining features were either deliberately removed soon after the end of the war.

Gunn, B., n.d. [1999], Tales of Old Woolacombe, 51 (Monograph). SDV350728.

In late 1943 or early 1944 'hundreds of fields in the [Woolacombe] area were turned into stores dumps with entrances for giant trucks via wire mesh roadways. Several fields along the Mortehoe to Mullacott Cross road were joined together by a metalled road that ran parallel with the public road'.

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
SDV349549Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1631. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1631 1088 08-JUL-1946. [Mapped feature: #62857 ]
SDV349927Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1501. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1501 3281-3282 13-MAY-1946.
SDV350392Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 19/05/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2082. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/CPE/UK/2082 3072-3073 19-MAY-1947.
SDV350728Monograph: Gunn, B.. n.d. [1999]. Tales of Old Woolacombe. Tales of Old Woolacombe. 51.

Associated Monuments

MDV57332Part of: Morte Bay/Woolacombe Areas G, H and L of US Assault Training Centre (Monument)
MDV132092Related to: Field called 'Burrow Corner', Mortehoe (Monument)
MDV103378Related to: Military Camp South of Bickenbridge (Monument)
MDV103142Related to: Second World War Camp at Lincombe (Monument)
MDV103384Related to: Trackways North of Woolacombe Station (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project (Ref: ACD383/2/1)

Date Last Edited:Nov 24 2021 1:19PM