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HER Number:MDV105244
Name:Rocket battery platform on Hollicombe Beach, Torbay

Summary

The concrete firing floor of a Second World War rocket battery may be visible as a flat pale platform on aerial photographs taken between 1946 and 1958. A concrete slab apparently eroding out of the cliff edge in 2013 could be this or an associated feature.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 898 623
Map Sheet:SX86SE
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishTorbay

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1414432
  • Torbay HER: MTO60063

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Torbay HER record (SMR record). SDV361984.

It is located between the railway line and the beach. Interpreted as a Z UP battery (unrotated projectile, that is a rocket). It is credited with destroying a F.W.190 fighter/bomber on December 30th 1942. A photograph of the Hollacombe Rocket Launcher in situ is reproduced in Ron Coleman's 'On Guard', p87.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223, RAF/3G/TUD/UK223 5097-5098 12-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352279.

A pale area is indistinctly visible.


RAF, 1949, RAF/58/209 Vp2, RAF/58/209 5063-5064 15-APR-1949 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352287.

A pale area is visible and appears to be a level platform.


Royal Air Force, 1958, RAF/58/2549, NMR SX8962/4 RAF 30137/PSFO-P2-0115 27-AUG-1958 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351446.

A flat platform is visible.


Taylor, L., 1995, Torbay and Paignton Gas Company: Hollacombe Works (Plan - measured). SDV362117.

There was a Home Guard platoon based on Hollacombe Gas Works, which manned an anti-aircraft rocket launcher near to the gasworks.


Brown, I., Burridge, D. Clarke, D., Guy, J., Hellis, J., Lowry, B., Ruckley, N. & Thomas, R., 1996, 20th Century Defences in Britain. An Introductory Guide., 61 (Monograph). SDV349907.

Description of Z battery given.


Jury, R., 1996, Hollacombe Beach Gun Emplacement (Worksheet). SDV362147.

The defence structure over the tunnel under the railway line may have been associated with an anti aircraft rocket battery that may have been sited on a concrete slab nearby.


Pike, J. (ed.), 1997, The Archive Photograph Series - Paignton, 92 (Monograph). SDV362111.

Torbay suffered badly from"tip-and-run" raiders during the Second World War. Attacks on vital services like the gas works were feared and so defences were put up on the sea side of the works. As well as a rocket-battery, a Lewis gun was kept at the ready. (A photograph shows the rocket battery and the north pillbox behind.)


Ford, M.J., 1998, Rocket launcher, Hollacombe Beach (Worksheet). SDV362230.

Site visit 8th February 1998. Flat concrete base was observed, approximately 18 feet by 10 feet with a circular brick-raised mound in the centre of approximately 4 feet in diameter. Other details: photo


Fiorato, V.J., 1999, Rocket launcher at Hollacombe Beach (Worksheet). SDV362233.

Site visit 27th October 1999. Raised (?)concrete base just visible to the west of the"path". More likely to be the remains of the rocket battery.


Fiorato, V.J., 1999, Rocket launcher, Hollacombe Beach (Worksheet). SDV362232.

Site visit 7th July 1999. Site located east of the railway line and north of the railway underpass on a heavily vegetated slope above the beach. It consisted of a curving line of concrete now used as a path to the north pillbox.


Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX8962_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

The area is obscured by scrub.


Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2013 - 2014, South Devon Coast RCZAS National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit, 26-AUG-2013 (Site Visit). SDV351142.

From the beach, a concrete slab is visible above and to the north of the tunnel entrance. It may be part of the battery that has started to slip down the cliff face.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

A pale flat area visible on aerial photographs between 1946 and 1958 may be the concrete base recorded on the ground in 1998-1999. It has been interpreted as part of a Second World War rocket battery defending this part of the coast, and the gasworks in particular, from enemy bombers. A concrete slab that appears to be slipping down the cliff edge was visible from Hollicombe Beach in August 2013, and could be this or an associated feature.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV349907Monograph: Brown, I., Burridge, D. Clarke, D., Guy, J., Hellis, J., Lowry, B., Ruckley, N. & Thomas, R.. 1996. 20th Century Defences in Britain. An Introductory Guide.. 20th Century Defences in Britain. An Introductory Guide.. Paperback Volume. 61.
SDV351142Site Visit: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2013 - 2014. South Devon Coast RCZAS National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit. AC Archaeology. Digital. 26-AUG-2013.
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coastal Observatory SX8962_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012.
SDV351446Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1958. RAF/58/2549. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR SX8962/4 RAF 30137/PSFO-P2-0115 27-AUG-1958.
SDV352279Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/3G/TUD/UK223 5097-5098 12-JUL-1946.
SDV352287Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1949. RAF/58/209 Vp2. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Print. RAF/58/209 5063-5064 15-APR-1949. [Mapped feature: #64701 ]
SDV361984SMR record: Torbay HER record.
SDV362111Monograph: Pike, J. (ed.). 1997. The Archive Photograph Series - Paignton. The Archive Photograph Series - Paignton. Paignton. Photocopy. 92.
SDV362117Plan - measured: Taylor, L.. 1995. Torbay and Paignton Gas Company: Hollacombe Works. Unknown.
SDV362147Worksheet: Jury, R.. 1996. Hollacombe Beach Gun Emplacement. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet.
SDV362230Worksheet: Ford, M.J.. 1998. Rocket launcher, Hollacombe Beach. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet.
SDV362232Worksheet: Fiorato, V.J.. 1999. Rocket launcher, Hollacombe Beach. Worksheet.
SDV362233Worksheet: Fiorato, V.J.. 1999. Rocket launcher at Hollacombe Beach. Worksheet.

Associated Monuments

MDV126359Part of: Hollicombe Beach Defence Area, Torbay (Monument)
MDV55647Related to: Defence structure above the tunnel entrance to Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)
  • EDV7667 - Defence of Britain site visits to World War II Monuments
  • EDV7779 - World War II sites in Torbay

Date Last Edited:Aug 30 2019 12:41PM