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HER Number:MDV47891
Name:Anti-tank obstacles north-west of Weycroft Mill, Axminster

Summary

A row of about 41 anti-tank cubes along the east bank of the river Axe, north of the mill race, to the north-west of Weycroft Mill. They are visible as structures on aerial photographs taken from 1947 onwards. Part of the Weycroft defence area on the Taunton Stop Line constructed in 1940.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 306 999
Map Sheet:SY39NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER

Protected Status

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

Other References/Statuses

  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1417349
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY39NW/68
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ANTI TANK OBSTACLE (Constructed, World War II - 1940 AD to 1940 AD)

Full description

Royal Engineers, 1940, Plans of Taunton Stop Line, Axminster Union & R.D. (Cartographic). SDV325259.

Obstacles recorded on plan of (?) July 1940. Associated with road blocks on Weycroft bridge. The principle row, south of the river, is recorded as S.R.d.56 while the row on the northern bank is S.R.d.54.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974, RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FP 1422-1423 11-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356127.

A line of small structures is visible. Map object partly based on this source.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974/1423 (Aerial Photograph). SDV348806.

Visible on RAF 1947 aerial photo. Runs broadly from SY30639990-SY30679996.

Horner, B., 1993, Weycroft Site Visit (Site Visit). SDV356798.

Site visit on 6th February 1993. Series of squat, sqare concrete pillars visible from road. Line a short stretch of east bank of River Axe. Possibly World War II anti-tank obstacles.

Horner, B., 1995, Taunton Stop Line Survey Site Visit (Site Visit). SDV325640.

Site visit 13th June 1995. Anti-tank cubes of 5 foot type with rounded-pyramid tops. In a single line.

Hayne, D. + Weston, H., 1996, Anti-Tank Obstacles, Weycroft Mill (Worksheet). SDV356799.

Nearly 30 anti-tank cubes with pointed caps, on the bank of the River Axe opposite Weycroft Mill.

Horner, B., 1997, World War II structures at Weycroft Mill (Personal Comment). SDV325623.

Clearance of undergrowth has exposed the full surviving extent of these anti-tank cubes. The principal row contains 36 cubes, roughly 1.5m wide and 2m tall. They are separated by 1.5m gaps. Two further blocks lie in the river at the outlet of the Mill Race overflow channel (at about SY06729997) and there are a further two in-situ on the north bank of the channel. The system continues on the south side of the mill race and beside the mill race to the north-east of Weycroft (see associated monuments).

Foot, W., 2005, Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England, DA03-Weycroft-S0001243, p5, Fig. 6 (Report - Survey). SDV360266.

Site visit 14th January 2003. Weycroft defence area. A line of anti-tank cubes with conical tops, each 3 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet high, along the river bank opposite Weycroft Mill. There are about 41 from the north to the mill race and a further curving line of 11 to the south. In good condition, although the river Axe overflows occasionally here. An impressive survival which can be seen from the road.

Next Perspectives, 2010, Aerial Photography for Great Britain - Digital Elevation Data, Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SY3099 23-MAY-2010 (Cartographic). SDV359481.

A line of small structures is visible. Map object partly based on this source.

Passmore, A. + Passmore, M., 2010, The Taunton Stop Line, 3 (Leaflet). SDV345322.

Photograph shows anti-tank obstacles beside the River Axe at Weycroft.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2016-2018, The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV359463.

A row of small structures, each just over a metre in width, is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947 along the eastern side of the watercourse. Their location, size and layout indicates that they are part of the anti-tank obstacle that forms part of the Second World War Taunton Stop Line defences. A segment is visible on aerial photographs taken in 2010 and later imagery.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2016-2018, The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit, 07-FEB-2018 (Site Visit). SDV359588.

Surviving blocks were visible along the river south-west of Weycroft Bridge.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325259Cartographic: Royal Engineers. 1940. Plans of Taunton Stop Line. Royal Engineers Survey Plan circa July 1940. Unknown. Axminster Union & R.D..
SDV325623Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 1997. World War II structures at Weycroft Mill. Not Applicable.
SDV325640Site Visit: Horner, B.. 1995. Taunton Stop Line Survey Site Visit. Taunton Stop Line Survey. Not Applicable.
SDV345322Leaflet: Passmore, A. + Passmore, M.. 2010. The Taunton Stop Line. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archae. 22. A4 Folded + digital. 3.
SDV348806Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1974/1423. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV356127Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FP 1422-1423 11-APR-1947. [Mapped feature: #93060 ]
SDV356798Site Visit: Horner, B.. 1993. Weycroft Site Visit. Not Applicable.
SDV356799Worksheet: Hayne, D. + Weston, H.. 1996. Anti-Tank Obstacles, Weycroft Mill. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV359463Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2016-2018. The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. Historic England Research Report. Digital.
Linked documents:2
SDV359481Cartographic: Next Perspectives. 2010. Aerial Photography for Great Britain - Digital Elevation Data. Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SY3099 23-MAY-2010.
SDV359588Site Visit: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2016-2018. The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit. AC Archaeology. Photograph (Digital). 07-FEB-2018.
Linked images:9
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-Weycroft-S0001243, p5, Fig. 6.

Associated Monuments

MDV119535Part of: The Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV120385Part of: Weycroft Defence Area on the Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV49428Related to: Anti-tank obstacles south-west of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4919 - Site Visit to Pillboxes and Anti-Tank Obstacles Near Axminster
  • EDV7508 - The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme (NMP) project (Ref: ACD1228)

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2020 2:19PM