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HER Number:MDV49435
Name:Weycroft anti-tank ditch, Axminster

Summary

A Second World War anti-tank ditch is visible alongside the railway as an earthwork on aerial photographs taken from 1947 and partially on images derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2014. It survives as an overgrown hollow but is in bad condition, being full of dumped rubbish. The ditch formed part of the Weycroft defence area on the Taunton Stop Line constructed in 1940.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 303 997
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' and cropmarks of a rectangular enclosure of unknown date east of Weycroft

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1441838
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY39NW/75
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

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

Not recorded on Royal Engineer's plan, although the rail block is.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974, RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FP 1423-1424 11-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356127.

Substantial earthwork ditches and banks are visible.

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

Anti-tank ditch visible on RAF 1947 aerial photograph. Runs broadly SY30259968 - SY30459986. At its southern end a row of concrete anti-tank obstacles cuts north-west to block the railway.

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

Site visit 3rd June 1995. No trace of ditch on ground surface although the rail block survives.

Environment Agency, 1998-2014, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution), LIDAR SY3099 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 30-SEP-2014 (Cartographic). SDV359177.

An earthwork ditch and banks are visible.

Foot, W., 2005, Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England, DA03-Weycroft-S0016344, p6 (Report - Survey). SDV360266.

Site visit 14th January 2003. Weycroft defence area. Anti-tank ditch on the east side of and running parallel with the railway to the south of Weycroft Bridge. It can just be seen as a hollow in an overgrown area now full of dumped rubbish. In bad condition. It is unclear why an anti-tank ditch should have been required in this location.

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

The Second World War anti-tank ditch parallel to the railway line north of Axminster is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs taken from 1947 and partially on images derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2014. The most substantial part of the ditch is approximately 6 metres across and is flanked by two banks of similar proportions. Part of the ditch appears to survive, especially in a wooded area in the north, and a recent track or roadway seems to follow the line of the ditch in the south.
The feature has been transcribed from the Historic England Archive 1947 aerial photographs, which have been recorded here as an additional separate source because there is a possibility that the prints may have been processed differently. This would potentially result in images on which archaeological features show slightly differently.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325259Cartographic: Royal Engineers. 1940. Plans of Taunton Stop Line. Royal Engineers Survey Plan circa July 1940. Unknown. Axminster Union & RD.
SDV325640Site Visit: Horner, B.. 1995. Taunton Stop Line Survey Site Visit. Taunton Stop Line Survey. Not Applicable.
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 1423-1424 11-APR-1947. [Mapped feature: #93499 ]
SDV359177Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2014. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SY3099 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 30-SEP-2014.
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
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-S0016344, p6.

Associated Monuments

MDV119535Part of: The Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV120385Part of: Weycroft Defence Area on the Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV49436Related to: Pillbox S.34, 210 metres west of Weycroft Mill, Axminster (Monument)
MDV72473Related to: Railblock S.Rl.27.a, 147 metres north of Axminster Town Football Club (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7508 - The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme (NMP) project (Ref: ACD1228)

Date Last Edited:Sep 10 2020 12:01PM