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HER Number:MDV120385
Name:Weycroft Defence Area on the Taunton Stop Line

Summary

The Weycroft defence area, centred on Weycroft Mill, formed part of the Second World War Taunton Stop Line planned and constructed in 1940 to prevent any German advance from the south-west peninsula. The main anti-tank obstacle was the River Axe. The road and rail crossings were key defensive points. Aerial photographic evidence also suggests that the river banks were cut back and steepened as well as being strenthened by rows of anti-tank cubes. It was further covered by pillboxes on the higher ground to the north-east. See associated monuments for details of individual sites, buildings and features.

Location

Grid Reference:ST 306 000
Map Sheet:ST30SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAll Saints
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER
Ecclesiastical ParishCHARDSTOCK

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks and structures associated with the Weycroft Defence Area on the World War Two 'Taunton Stop Line'

Other References/Statuses

  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DEFENDED LOCALITY (Constructed, World War II - 1940 AD to 1940 AD)

Full description

Foot, W., 2005, Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England, DA03 (Report - Survey). SDV360266.

The Weycroft defence area, centred on Weycroft Mill, formed part of the Second World War Taunton Stop Line planned and constructed in 1940 to prevent any German advance from the south-west peninsula. The main anti-tank obstacle was the River Axe. The road and rail crossings were key defensive points. Aerial photographic evidence also suggests that the river banks were cut back and steepened as well as being strenthened by rows of anti-tank cubes. It was further covered by pillboxes on the higher ground to the north-east.
The defence area provides an excellent example of the Taunton Stop Line defences and the surviving defence works are of national importance. The line of anti-tank blocks with the unusual addition of concrete posts is a major monument in itself.
It is recommended that consideration be given to the protection of the in situ concrete posts and also to the establishment of a pillbox walk through the area, using the footpaths on the south side of the river.

See report for more information and associated monuments for details of individual defences.

Passmore, A. + Passmore, M., 2010, Second World War Pillboxes, 3 (Leaflet). SDV345308.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV345308Leaflet: Passmore, A. + Passmore, M.. 2010. Second World War Pillboxes. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archaeology in Devon. 13. A4 Folded. 3.
SDV360266Report - Survey: Foot, W.. 2005. Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England. Council for British Archaeology/English Heritage. Digital. DA03. [Mapped feature: #79624 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV72476Parent of: Anti-tank cube by the southern weir at Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV72471Parent of: Anti-tank cubes north-east of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV120458Parent of: Anti-tank gun position circa 285 metres north-east of Weycroft Hall, Axminster (Monument)
MDV47891Parent of: Anti-tank obstacles north-west of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV49428Parent of: Anti-tank obstacles south-west of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV120898Parent of: Anti-tank obstacles to the north of Axminster Town Football Club (Monument)
MDV48675Parent of: Pillbox S.29 circa 365 metres to north-east of Weycroft Hall, Axminster (Monument)
MDV72474Parent of: Pillbox S.30 to east of Weycroft Mill Weirs, Axminster (Monument)
MDV52930Parent of: Pillbox S.33 to east of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV49436Parent of: Pillbox S.34, 210 metres west of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV52927Parent of: Pillbox S.35 about 200 metres south-west of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV52929Parent of: Pillbox S.37 about 128 metres north of Axminster Town Football Club (Monument)
MDV39373Parent of: Pillbox SV.5 circa 470 metres north-east of Weycroft Hall, Axminster (Monument)
MDV39372Parent of: Pillbox SV.6 circa 425 metres north-east of Weycroft Hall, Axminster (Monument)
MDV52928Parent of: Railblock S.RL.27 to the west of Weycroft, Axminster (Monument)
MDV72473Parent of: Railblock S.Rl.27.a, 147 metres north of Axminster Town Football Club (Monument)
MDV120456Parent of: Roadblock C.55, Lodge Lane, Axminster (Monument)
MDV48664Parent of: Roadblock S.Rd.53 at Coaxdon Cottages, All Saints (Monument)
MDV72482Parent of: Roadblock S.Rd.53a 30 metres north of railway bridge on Chard Lane, Axminster (Monument)
MDV72477Parent of: Roadblock S.Rd.54, Weycroft Bridge, All Saints (Monument)
MDV72470Parent of: Roadblock S.Rd.56 at Weycroft, Axminster (Monument)
MDV49435Parent of: Weycroft anti-tank ditch, Axminster (Monument)
MDV119535Part of: The Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV52926Related to: Pillbox about 152 metres north-east of Axminster Town Football Club (Monument)
MDV119012Related to: Pillbox on the railway line south-east of Sisterhood Farm, Axminster (Monument)
MDV17622Related to: Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4919 - Site Visit to Pillboxes and Anti-Tank Obstacles Near Axminster

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2020 2:18PM