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HER Number:MDV21331
Name:Pillbox below Saunton Sands Hotel

Summary

A Second World War pillbox is probably visible on aerial photographs between 1942 and 1989, firstly possibly part way up the cliff, but certainly from 1952 at the base and by 1989 on the beach as it slipped down the slope. It was demolished between 1989 and 1994 on Health and Safety grounds.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 446 377
Map Sheet:SS43NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1429442
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NW/20

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PILLBOX (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1942, RAF/140/S756/H58, NMR RAF/140/S747/H56 PO-3022 SS4437/3 06-FEB-1942 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350306.

No structure is visible in this location, but a possible rectangular structure is visible further up the cliff.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1501 3003-3004 13-MAY-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349927.

A roughly rectangular pale area is visible at the base of the cliff in an over-exposed part of the photograph.


Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Pillbox shown on aerial photograph as an irregular shaped building on the beach at Saunton Sands.


Royal Air Force, 1952, RAF/540/949, NMR RAF/540/949 5080 24-NOV-1952 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349761.

A rectangular structure is visible at the base of the cliff.


Wills, G., 1983, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV339607.

Pillbox on beach, at foot of cliff below Saunton Sands Hotel.


Nature Conservancy Council, 1989, Braunton Burrows Habitat Map (Cartographic). SDV339613.

'Concrete block' is marked on the Braunton Burrows Habitat Map.


Ordnance Survey, 1989, OS/89115, NMR OS/89115 342-343 04-MAY-1989 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349086.

A rectangular structure is visible on the beach.


Adkin, T., 1994, Saunton Sands - WWII Concrete Structure (Correspondence). SDV339608.

Due to sand dune erosion the block stood on beach, 8-10 metres clear of existing dunes. Roughly cubic, standing on very corroded steel piling and listing severly to seaward. Two open slits on north and west sides, centre apparently hollow, but filled with sand. Slide taken prior to removal.


Miller, D., 2006, World War Two Features Annotated onto Braunton Burrows Habitat Map (Cartographic). SDV339606.

'Pillbox' is annotated onto the Braunton Burrows Habitat Map.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Other details: Survey number 1351.


Passmore, A. + Knight, S., 2009, Farm Environment Plan (FEP), Updated Spreadsheet of Archaeological Sites (Un-published). SDV344664.

Site of pillbox not inspected.


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

A small rectangular structure circa 5 metres by 4 metres in size is visible at the base of the cliffs below Saunton Sands Hotel on aerial photographs between 1952 and 1989. It is likely to be the Second World War pillbox that is recorded as having been demolished for health and safety reasons sometime prior to 1994. Although not distinguishable on earlier aerial photographs, the available runs that cover this area are over-exposed, and a pale roughly rectangular area visible in this location on aerial photographs taken in May 1946 could be the same feature. It is not visible in this location on aerial photographs of 1942, but a possible rectangular structure is visible higher up the cliff at circa SS4461137731. The structure may, therefore, have been constructed in the early part of the war as a defensive lookout (in contrast to the many mock-up pillboxes used for training in the later war years), and slipped down the cliff face over the course of the war. It is recorded as of 1940-1941 construction in the National Monuments Record.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV339606Cartographic: Miller, D.. 2006. World War Two Features Annotated onto Braunton Burrows Habitat Map. Nature Conservancy Council. Photocopy.
SDV339607Personal Comment: Wills, G.. 1983.
SDV339608Correspondence: Adkin, T.. 1994. Saunton Sands - WWII Concrete Structure. Letter from North Devon Heritage Coast Service. Letter + Digital.
SDV339613Cartographic: Nature Conservancy Council. 1989. Braunton Burrows Habitat Map. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV344664Un-published: Passmore, A. + Knight, S.. 2009. Farm Environment Plan (FEP), Updated Spreadsheet of Archaeological Sites. Exeter Archaeology Report. Digital.
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
SDV349086Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1989. OS/89115. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/89115 342-343 04-MAY-1989.
SDV349761Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1952. RAF/540/949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/540/949 5080 24-NOV-1952. [Mapped feature: #83082 ]
SDV349927Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1501. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1501 3003-3004 13-MAY-1946.
SDV350306Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1942. RAF/140/S756/H58. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF/140/S747/H56 PO-3022 SS4437/3 06-FEB-1942.

Associated Monuments

MDV57283Related to: Braunton Areas A, B, C and D of US Assault Training Centre (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4737 - Stewardship Scheme Archaeological Survey, Braunton Burrows
  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Oct 12 2012 11:11AM