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HER Number:MDV113126
Name:Observation Post (16) and Flanking Target Butts to north-east of Okement Hill, Dartmoor Forest

Summary

Observation Post 16. Early 20th century range structure built of reinforced concrete. Although now known as an observation post, the structure appears to have originally been built as a shelter, one of a series which are thought to have served a dual purpose of observing training proceedings and controlling nearby proceedings. The shelter is flanked by the remains of two target butts or which the eastern is the largest. Both have been extensively damage in the past by shell fire. Scheduled in October 2015.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 608 881
Map Sheet:SX68NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BUTTS (XIX to XX - 1801 AD to 2000 AD (Between))
  • OBSERVATION POST (Built, XIX to XX - 1900 AD to 1919 AD (Between))

Full description

Francis, P., 2002, Okehampton Artillery Range, 13, plate 35 (Report - Survey). SDV359222.

Observation Post 16. Close to Okement Head. Unique design; to the west is 'O' datum and to the north is 'L' datum. Consists of a tunnel-like natural stone structure covered in earth and grass with granite block retaining walls. Front elevation has a half-height concrete blast wall with an entrance gap separating it from the main structure. From the structure, a railway descended towards East Okement Farm. SX60820 88196


GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Remains of the observation post and target butts visible on the aerial photography.


Historic England, 2015, Case Name: Okehampton Artillery Range: Observation Post 7, and Observation Post 16 and flanking target butts (Schedule Document). SDV359236.

Assessment case for scheduling.


English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

PRINCIPAL FEATURES: Observation Post 16, a stone- and earth- covered concrete splinter-proof shelter, also known as a bunkhouse, and flanking artillery target butts, are situated in an extensive area of shell craters, 737m north east of the summit of Okement Hill.
The shelter, centred on SX6082088190, comprises a cast-concrete shelter protected by a large mound of turf and boulders. It measures 3.2m north to south by 2.0m internally with coursed granite walls and an arched roof. The roof was apparently cast in situ. The front (south) side is protected by a cast-concrete blast wall 1.5m high with a handrail on top that would have been used to feed a system of cable pulley that the movement of targets positioned within the flanking trenches. A gap between the blast wall and the side of the protective mound provides access to the shelter. The mound is roughly rectangular and measures circa 11m by 8m and stands to a maximum of 3.9m high. The sides are retained by a coursed boulder revetment 2.0m high. There is some erosion damage to the top of the protective earthen mound. The shelter is flanked by the remains of two target butts. The east target butt is the largest and comprises a disturbed bank 29m long running roughly east to west with a ditch on the south side. Another, lower, bank lies a few metres to the south. The main feature measures 4.5m wide with a maximum height of 1.5m. Despite the damage traces of sharp steeply sloping sides and a flat top are discernible. The ditch immediately to the south measures on average 4.0m wide and 1.0m deep. Several deliberate kinks are visible along the course of the ditch, although their specific function is no longer evident on the ground. The southernmost bank, 17m long and approximately 4m wide and 1m high, has suffered greater damage. The trench to the west of the shelter is a smaller, single trench, measuring circa 15m long that appears to be of a similar construction to the other target butt. Both target butts have been extensively damaged in the past by shell fire.
EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: the scheduled monument is split into three separate areas of protection, the shelter centred on SX6082088192 and two target trenches on either side centred on SX6077688165 and SX6086288213. A buffer of 2m is included around the scheduled areas for their support and preservation.
EXCLUSION: a cable tapping-in point within the interior of the mound is excluded from the scheduling, although the wall and floor structure beneath it is included.


English Heritage, 2015, Okehampton Artillery Range: Observation Post 7, and Observation Post 16
and flanking target butts
(Correspondence). SDV358974.

English Heritage is undertaking a project to consider the military buildings on Okehampton Training Camp for addition to the National Heritage List for England. Research carried out in 2002 identified a number of remains associated with the military activity on the Range. Following an inspection of these remains in June 2014, seven sites have been carried forward as part of the project including Observation Post 16 and associated artillery target butts.
Observation Post 16 is an early-C20 range structure. Although now known as an observation post, a survey of the range from 1919 depicts it in this location, as one of a series of splinter-proof shelters that are likely to have served a dual purpose of observing training proceedings and also controlling nearby targets. The shelter faces south, away from the main part of the range and it is likely it was positioned on this elevated position to act as a refuge for those servicing the two target butts on either side of the shelter.
PRINCIPAL FEATURES: Observation Post 16 and flanking artillery target butts are situated in an extensive area of shell craters, 737m north east of the summit of Okement Hill. The shelter, centred on SX6082088190, comprises a cast-concrete shelter protected by a large mound of turf and boulders. It measures 3.2m north to south by 2.0m internally with coursed granite walls and an arched roof. The roof was apparently cast in in-situ. The front (south) side is protected by a cast concrete blast wall 1.5m high with a handrail on top that would have also acted as a way of controlling the movement of nearby targets. A gap between the blast wall and the side of the protective mound provides access to the shelter. The mound is roughly rectangular and measures circa 11m by 8m and stands a maximum of 3.9m high. The sides are retained by a coursed boulder revetment 2.0m high. There is some erosion
damage to the top of the protective earthen mound. The shelter is flanked by the remains of two target butts. The east target butt is the largest and comprises a disturbed bank 29m long running roughly east to west with a ditch on the south side. Another, lower, bank lies a few metres to the south. The main feature measures 4.5m wide with a maximum height of 1.5m. Despite the damage traces of sharp steeply sloping sides and a flat top are discernible. The ditch immediately to the south measures on average 4.0m wide and 1.0m deep. Several deliberate kinks are visible along the course of the ditch,
although their specific function is no longer evident on the ground. The southernmost bank, 17m long and approximately 4 m wide and 1m high, has suffered greater damage. The trench to the west of the shelter is a smaller, single trench, measuring circa 15m long that appears to be of a similar construction to the other target butt. Both target butts have been extensively damage in the past by shell fire.
See report for further details.


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

'Observation Post' shown on modern mapping as a small rectangular building.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped features: #72467 ; #72468 ; #72469 ]
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV358974Correspondence: English Heritage. 2015. Okehampton Artillery Range: Observation Post 7, and Observation Post 16 and flanking target butts. English Heritage (Designation) Consultation Report. Digital.
SDV359222Report - Survey: Francis, P.. 2002. Okehampton Artillery Range. A4 Comb Bound. 13, plate 35.
SDV359236Schedule Document: Historic England. 2015. Case Name: Okehampton Artillery Range: Observation Post 7, and Observation Post 16 and flanking target butts. Advice Report. Digital.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV54157Related to: Observation Post (14) at Blackhaven Spur, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV113506Related to: Observation Post (15) on Okement Hill, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV113507Related to: Observation Post (17) south-west of Steeperton Gorge, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV113552Related to: Observation Post (18) at Steeperton Tor, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV113553Related to: Observation Post (19) at Oxhead, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV113554Related to: Observation Post (20) at Dinger Tor, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV113555Related to: Observation Post (21) east of Black Tor, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV51208Related to: Observation Post (22) at East Okement Farm, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV54151Related to: Observation Post (3) between High Willhays and East Mill Tor, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV113530Related to: Observation Post (6) east of East Mill Tor, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV113118Related to: Observation Post (7) on East Mill Tor, Dartmoor Forest (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7620 - Okehampton Artillary Range

Date Last Edited:Oct 5 2018 12:16PM