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HER Number:MDV27789
Name:Two 'F' Range Moving Target Tramways on Black Down, Okehampton Hamlets

Summary

Earthwork remains of two late 19th century 'F' range artillery moving target tramways on Black Down. To the east is a former redoubt and to the south-west is an early mid 20th century target carrier. To the east of the northern end of the railway are two missile firing positions. Scheduled in October 2015.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 581 916
Map Sheet:SX59SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishOkehampton Hamlets
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59SE/122

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TARGET TRAMWAY (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

National Monument Record, 12/04/1969, SX5891 (Aerial Photograph). SDV250389.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Substantial bank visible between SX58199167 and SX58239215 (it is marked on the Ordnance Survey 1:10560 map from Redaven Brook to the 1375 foot contour on Black Down, but not all of it is visible. Possibly a target tramway.


Francis, P., 2002, Okehampton Artillery Range, 7, 14 (Report - Survey). SDV359222.

'F' Range Moving Target (straight) survives as a cutting running straight from north at NGR SX 58259212 to south at NGR SX 58129117 with a small redoubt, an electric light shed and a target carrier shed remaining as small piles of rubble. 'F' Range Moving Target (curved) to the west suvives as a curved cutting running from north at NGR SX 58189181 to south at NGR SX58019141. Bends have a small vertical steel pin with a tube and two bearings allowing rotation. The southern end of the track bed divides into two tracks and terminates at a point identified by a number of small pulleys staked to the ground.


English Heritage, 2015, Linear Target Railway and associated features on F Range, SX5812 9117 Okehampton Artillery Range, Okehampton, Devon (Correspondence). SDV358082.

Notification of completion of initial assessment of the linear target railway and associated features on Okehampton Artillery Range to consider whether it should be added to the Schedule of Monuments.
The principal features comprise the earthwork remains of a former artillery target railway of late 19th century date which runs north to south from the lower, south-facing flank of Black Down to the Red-a-ven Brook immediately west of West Mill Tor. A former redoubt is located to the east, and an early-mid-C20 curved target carrier to the south west. To the east of the north end of the linear target railway are two missile firing positions.
See consultation report for full details.


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

PRINCIPAL FEATURES: the earthwork remains of a former artillery target railway of late C19 date, which runs north to south from the lower, south-facing flank of Black Down to the Red-a-ven Brook immediately west of West Mill Tor. Also, the earthwork remains of an early-mid-C20 curved target carrier to the south west.
DESCRIPTION: the earthwork remains of a former artillery target railway run north to south from SX5823592141 to SX5812791168. The embankments and cuttings remain, indicating an original length of 960m, and the rails have been removed. The first 60m of the line at the northern end of the railway lie in what is now a deep, 3-4m, cutting with irregular sides and traces of masonry and concrete. This is described in 1906 as 'Engine Shed' and presumably formed covered accommodation for the targetry. The trackbed leaves the site of the former shed at 416m OD and gently descends to 411m near the centre (where another engine shed is marked on the 1906 map) before rising slightly to 412m at the southern end. At SX5820691879 it crosses a road, which is not included in the scheduled area. The trackbed averages 3.0m wide and there are some indentations of sleepers. Motive power for this feature is uncertain though unlikely to have been a locomotive, the engine sheds probably housing stationary engines. Given the slight incline of the line it seems likely that the targetry was partly gravity-powered on its north to south run. Pulleys and wire tensioning blocks, which were at one time visible along the edges of the trackbed, may have assisted this and also formed a retrieval system to return the targetry to the north end. To the west of the railway, at approx. SX5815791764, is an earth mound, possibly related to the southernmost late-C19 engine shed. Finds of 0.5 solid rounds on the target railway suggest that it was used for training with the Boyes anti-tank rifle.

The earthwork remains of a curved target carrier run north-east to south-west from approx. SX5818591788 to SX5799691363. The cutting averages approx. 1.0m wide and 0.5m deep. Any tracks that may have been in place have been removed. The bends in the cutting have a steel or iron pin and tube used as cable bearings for the carrier. One possible use in the 1920s is via a sleigh made of two pieces of rolled corrugated iron sheeting on which canvas figures were attached, pulled by a limber. Kite balloon wire would be used to prevent the sleigh skidding, in conjunction with the bearing pins and tubes. The southern end of the carrier splits into two and terminates at a point that formerly had pulleys staked to the ground. The northern end terminates close to the mound at the former engine shed at SX5815791764.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: the monument comprises 3 separate areas of protection and the boundary runs between SX5823592141 in the north and SX5799691363 in the south, to include the target carrier track beds and cuttings. A buffer of 2m is included around the whole monument for the support and preservation of the earthworks. The road that crosses the linear target railway at SX5820691879 is not included in the scheduling.


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

Eastern feature shown as 'Drain' on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV250389Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 12/04/1969. SX5891. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV358082Correspondence: English Heritage. 2015. Linear Target Railway and associated features on F Range, SX5812 9117 Okehampton Artillery Range, Okehampton, Devon. Digital. [Mapped feature: #85881 ]
SDV359222Report - Survey: Francis, P.. 2002. Okehampton Artillery Range. A4 Comb Bound. 7, 14.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV113527Related to: Anti-Tank Range on Black Down, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV113508Related to: Flagpole and Semaphore Station on Black Down, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV113591Related to: Military trenches on Black Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7620 - Okehampton Artillary Range

Date Last Edited:Oct 5 2018 1:50PM