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HER Number:MDV54133
Name:Brandy Head Range Observation Post, Otterton

Summary

A Second World War bombing range observation post is visible on aerial photographs of 1941 onwards as a Structure immediately to the north-west of Twopenny Loaf Rock, at Brandy Head. The structure is now situated on the South West Coast Path and is accessible.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 090 836
Map Sheet:SY08SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishOtterton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOTTERTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Roofless shell of observation post constructed at Brandy Head in 1941

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1421059
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY08SE/73

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BOMBING RANGE OBSERVATION POST (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

APH, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV134599.

Visible on raf 1946 ap. Blast wall to rear does not appear to be earth embanked but it is hard to tell (aph).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV134605.

Aph=raf/106g/uk/1412/3106/(13/4/1946)/smr 45/33.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV134607.

Ashworth, c. /action stations 5/(1982)91-2.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV134608.

Matthews, a. J. /archaeological recording of a wwii observation post near otterton, east devon/(1995)/plans, photos/(emafu rep 95.15).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV134610.

Des=moore, k. J. /archaeological coastal survey of the east devon coast/(1999)/in smr.

MOORE, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV29092.

Not in good condition in 1999 with the roof gone (moore).

ASHWORTH, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV291700.

Lyme bay was used as a gunnery range during the war years. The navy fighter school at yeovilton (hms heron) made use of the area, flying target tugs from haldon airfield (hms heron ii). Communications aircraft flew from boscombe down. Ranges used for air-to-air and ship-to-air firing (ashworth).

Royal Air Force, 1941, RAF/1416/S386H52, NMR SY 0983/1 MSO 31233/PO-79 09-AUG-1941 (Aerial Photograph). SDV355849.

The firing range observation post is visible as a roofed structure.

Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/508, RAF/106G/UK/508 4108-4109 13-JUL-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV355833.

The firing range observation post is visible as a roofed structure.

Matthews, A. J., 1995, Archaeological Recording of a WWII Observation Post Near Otterton, East Devon (Report - Survey). SDV345759.

Horner, B., 1995, Brandy Head Observation Post (Ground Photograph). SDV134609.

According to a member of the Aircrew Association, this site was used for the testing of rockets, fired by aircraft from RAF Exeter, at steel targets on land and at buoys out to sea.

Unknown, 1995, Untitled Source (Unknown). SDV348452.

Second world war observation post. Subject of heritage coast survey. Rectangular single storey "temporary brick" structure of possible raf type. On the seaward (e) elevation there is a viewing platform at eaves height with partially enclosed space below. To the rear of the building there is a concrete block blast wall (emafu).

Francis, P., 1999, Exeter Airport. Historic Airport Survey for Devon County Council & East Devon District Council, 116 (Report - non-specific). SDV323390.

Based around a standard 3-bay, 18 foot span hut, with certain modifications to create a three-roomed observation post. All walls of temporary brick, except the west wall which is 9 inches thick as it partly supports a cocrete slab viewing balcony, which is also supported at the front by brick pillars. The building and balcony face east, the range located out at sea while the east elevation is protected by a traversed blast wall.
Viewed at high tide. It was therefore not possible to see if there were any remains of targets.
The building is semi-ruined. Other details: Plate 42.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SY0983_20120917ortho.ecw 17-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

The firing range observation post is visible as an unroofed, ruinous structure.

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site No. 2244 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Observation post.
SMR.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Passmore, M., 2010, Range Observation Post, Brandy Head, East Devon, 2 (Leaflet). SDV345152.

The shell of an observation hut constructed in July 1940 is still in situ on the cliff top at Brandy Head. The roofless remains, now consolidated, comprise three rooms with a porch on the seaward side. Above the porch is an observation platform supported by rendered brick pillars. At the rear (inland) of the structure was a blast wall. Other details: Photographs.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

The observation post at Brandy Head is visible as a structure overlooking the coast on aerial photographs of 1941 onwards. It might be associated with a smaller rectangular structure located approximately 140 metres to the north, which appears to be linked to the range by a trackway. The observation post building remains visible as an unroofed structure on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2012.

Pink, F., 2014-2015, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment (Interpretation). SDV357736.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV134599Migrated Record: APH.
SDV134605Aerial Photograph:
SDV134607Migrated Record:
SDV134608Migrated Record:
SDV134609Ground Photograph: Horner, B.. 1995. Brandy Head Observation Post. Slide + Digital.
Linked images:3
SDV134610Migrated Record:
SDV29092Migrated Record: MOORE.
SDV291700Migrated Record: ASHWORTH.
SDV323390Report - non-specific: Francis, P.. 1999. Exeter Airport. Historic Airport Survey for Devon County Council & East Devon District Council. Airfield Research Publishing Report. Digital + A4. 116.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #94783 ]
SDV345152Leaflet: Passmore, M.. 2010. Range Observation Post, Brandy Head, East Devon. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archae. 2. A4 Folded + digital. 2.
SDV345759Report - Survey: Matthews, A. J.. 1995. Archaeological Recording of a WWII Observation Post Near Otterton, East Devon. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 95.15. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV348452Unknown: Unknown. 1995. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Field Investigation. Unknown.
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coastal Observatory SY0983_20120917ortho.ecw 17-SEP-2012.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 2244.
SDV355833Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/508. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/508 4108-4109 13-JUL-1945.
SDV355849Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1941. RAF/1416/S386H52. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR SY 0983/1 MSO 31233/PO-79 09-AUG-1941.
SDV357736Interpretation: Pink, F.. 2014-2015. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV54209Related to: Military Building to West of Home Down Barn, Otterton (Monument)
MDV105902Related to: Second World War Structure, West of Crab Ledge (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4774 - Historic Airport Survey, Exeter Airport
  • EDV4881 - Site Visit to Brandy Head Range Observation Post, East Devon

Date Last Edited:Nov 4 2019 12:20PM