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HER Number:MDV53282
Name:Broad Clyst, AA Battery

Summary

A Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battery of Second World War date was visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s to 1960s as a range of hardened concrete structures, earthwork pits and trackways to the north-west of West Clyst Farm, Broad Clyst. All evidence of the battery was probably removed during the construction of the M5 motorway.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 973 954
Map Sheet:SX99NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBroad Clyst
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBROADCLYST

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1413127
  • National Monuments Record: 1413163
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99NE/86

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HEAVY ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Hellis, J., Untitled Source, JH/01499 (Monograph). SDV97071.

Anti-aircraft battery just north of West Clist. Referred to in early 1943. Three guns here by 22/11/1943, formerly more.

Royal Air Force, 1944, RAF/NLA/80, RAF/NLA/80 RP/RS 4038 24-MAR-1944 (Aerial Photograph). SDV358954.

A Second World War Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery battery and domestic site was visible.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RS 4072-4073 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

A Second World War Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery battery and domestic site was visible. Map object based partly on this source.

RAF, 1947, CPE/UK/1974/1454, SMR 37/18 (Aerial Photograph). SDV97074.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974, RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FP 1454-1455 11-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356127.

A Second World War Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery battery and domestic site was visible. Map object based partly on this source.

Royal Air Force, 1963, RAF/543/2332, RAF/543/2332 2F22 29-30 26-JUL-1963 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354847.

The battery structures were not visible.

Horner, W., 1995, The RAF/ROC HQ at Poltimore Park, 4 (Un-published). SDV354443.

Horner, W., 1995, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV97070.

Group of military buildings visible on RAF 1947 aerial photo. Flanking the south east side of the old A38 there is a row and cluster of huts, partially concealed by woodland. Also, at SX97409534, there is an east-west row of four closely-set gun positions. To the rear of these by c20m there is a further structure, possibly command post or magazine.

Horner, W., 1996, Anti Aircraft Battery, West Clyst Farm (Worksheet). SDV357057.

Anti-aircraft battery just north of West Clyst Farm. Referred to in early 1943. The gun emplacement of this Heavy AA Battery are recorded on a 1947 Royal Air Force aerial photograph. See worksheet for full details.

Horner, W., 1996, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV97072.

It is possible that this four in a row layout may indicate a "diver" anti-aircraft site, designed to counter flying bombs in mid-late 1944. However it is not thought that the "diver strip" extended this far west. The site is likely to have been destroyed by the construction of the M5, if not before this.

Horner, W., 1996, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV97073.

The site has been completely destroyed. All that remains are sections of recycled concrete blockwork in nearby hedgebanks and gate corners.

CPM, 2000, Land at Clyst Hayes: an archaeological assessment, App. 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV325508.

Southwest Archaeology, 2004, Pin Court Farm Broadclyst Exeter Devon. Archaeological Desk-top Study, 4.0, table 11 (Report - Assessment). SDV322383.

Next Perspectives, 2010, Aerial Photography for Great Britain, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SX9795 22-MAY-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356259.

No trace of the battery could be seen and the site was bisected by the route of the M5 motorway.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

A Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battery of Second World War date was visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s to 1960s as a range of hardened concrete structures, earthwork pits and trackways to the north-west of West Clyst Farm, Broad Clyst. Four square gun emplacements and associated small structures were arranged in a line against a field boundary to the south of the complex, with a command post circa 15 metres to the rear. As stated by the above authority this arrangement is reminiscent of a DIVER battery, but is unlikely to have been built as part of Operation Diver. The domestic site associated with the battery was situated circa 100-140 metres to the north within the former plantation or copse known as The Bowls and an adjacent old quarry. The camp comprised Nissen Hut-type and square structures connected by a narrow hardened trackway or footpath, enclosed within a fence compound approximately 1.7 hectares in area. A sewage treatment plant to the west, at circa SX97069555 has been recorded as part of a separated wartime establishment (MDV53281) but might have been shared with the battery.
The battery structures cannot be seen on aerial photographs of 1963 and any surviving evidence was probably removed during the construction of the M5 motorway.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV322383Report - Assessment: Southwest Archaeology. 2004. Pin Court Farm Broadclyst Exeter Devon. Archaeological Desk-top Study. Southwest Archaeology Report. 041124. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4.0, table 11.
SDV325508Report - Assessment: CPM. 2000. Land at Clyst Hayes: an archaeological assessment. CPM Report. A4 Spiral Bound + Digital. App. 2.
SDV354443Un-published: Horner, W.. 1995. The RAF/ROC HQ at Poltimore Park. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 4.
SDV354847Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1963. RAF/543/2332. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/543/2332 2F22 29-30 26-JUL-1963.
SDV354994Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1823. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RS 4072-4073 04-NOV-1946.
SDV356127Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FP 1454-1455 11-APR-1947.
SDV356259Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2010. Aerial Photography for Great Britain. Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SX9795 22-MAY-2010.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV357057Worksheet: Horner, W.. 1996. Anti Aircraft Battery, West Clyst Farm. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV358954Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1944. RAF/NLA/80. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/NLA/80 RP/RS 4038 24-MAR-1944.
SDV97070Personal Comment: Horner, W.. 1995.
SDV97071Monograph: Hellis, J.. Gazetteer of Defensive Sites. JH/01499.
SDV97072Personal Comment: Horner, W.. 1996.
SDV97073Worksheet: Horner, W.. 1996.
SDV97074Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. CPE/UK/1974/1454. CPE/UK. SMR 37/18.

Associated Monuments

MDV71571Related to: Broadclyst, Pin Court Farm (Monument)
MDV53279Related to: RAF Sector Operations Block, Poltimore Park (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1987 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Mar 13 2020 7:59AM