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HER Number:MDV55647
Name:Defence structure above the tunnel entrance to Hollicombe Beach, Torbay

Summary

The rectangular structure visible on aerial photos may be disguising a pillbox. The site is very overgrown and the form of the building is difficult to ascertain but there is a crumbling wall with a possible embrasure facing the sea.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 898 623
Map Sheet:SX86SE
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishTorbay
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishCOCKINGTON
Ecclesiastical ParishPAIGNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1421007
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SE/157
  • Torbay HER: MTO55647
  • Torbay HER: MTO55647

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PILLBOX (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

A rectangular roofed building is depicted in this location.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223, RAF/3G/TUD/UK223 5097-5098 12-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352279.

A rectangular pitched roofed building and a small square structure are visible above the tunnel entrance.


RAF, 1949, RAF/58/209 Vp2, RAF/58/209 5063-5064 15-APR-1949 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352287.

A rectangular pitched roofed building and a small square structure are visible above the tunnel entrance.


Royal Air Force, 1958, RAF/58/2549, NMR SX8962/4 RAF 30137/PSFO-P2-0115 27-AUG-1958 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351446.

The rectangular building is supported on a frame above the tunnel and has two openings on the seaward side. The square structure does not have any visible openings.


Ordnance Survey, 1988, OS/88198, NMR/OS/88198 V 206-207 25-JUN-1988 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352243.

The eastern wall of the rectangular structure appears to be visible, but there is no roof structure visible nor any structural remains of the northern side. The south and western sides are obscured by vegetation growth.


Jury, R., 1996, Hollacombe Beach Gun Emplacement (Worksheet). SDV362147.

Defence structure directly over the tunnel leading under the railway line from Hollicombe Beach to the old gasworks. Embrasured and made of soft local stone. Sited mid-way between two pillboxes. Possibly an op or machine-gun post. May have been associated with an anti-aircraft rocket battery that may have been sited on a concrete slab nearby.


Fiorato, V.J., 1999, Hollacombe Beach Gun Emplacement or Observation Post (Worksheet). SDV362148.

Site visit 27th October 1999. Site very overgrown but just possible to identify a wall running west-east flanking the north of the embrasure, and a sloping smooth"floor" to the west of the embrasure. Other details: colour slide.


Foot, W., 2005, Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England, DA64 - S0006552, Figs 4, 6 (Report - Survey). SDV360266.

Site visit 22nd January 2003. Possible rectangular pillbox with a crumbling wall facing the sea. It's form is difficult to ascertain as it is very overgrown. However, there appears to be an embrasure in the east face.
The structure is in bad condition, potentially endangering the public footpath below.
A large building with a pitched roof is visible at this location above the tunnel on an aerial photograph taken in 1958. It may be a signal box or possibly a pillbox with camouflage cladding.


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

Two structures are visible above the tunnel entrance to Hollicombe Beach on aerial photographs taken between 1946 and 1988. One is rectangular, 8 by 4 metres in plan, with a pitched roof and two openings of different size, orientation and elevation on the seaward side. A building is depicted in this location on the 1930s Ordnance Survey mapping. A second building 4 metres to the north and sited slightly further back from the beach is not depicted on the mapping but is visible on aerial photographs. It is much smaller at approximately 2.5 metres square and appears to have a flat roof, although no openings are visible on the seaward side on oblique aerial photographs taken in 1958. Only this structure has been transcribed. It is unclear whether either of these might be the possible Second World War pillbox faced with local stone that has been recorded above the tunnel on site visits; on the last recorded visit in 1999 the site was overgrown but a wall and floor were visible. A further site visit is recommended and should be undertaken with reference to the aerial photographs in order to help clarify the exact location of the remains and any correlation with the buildings described above.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
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
SDV351446Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1958. RAF/58/2549. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR SX8962/4 RAF 30137/PSFO-P2-0115 27-AUG-1958.
SDV352243Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1988. OS/88198. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). NMR/OS/88198 V 206-207 25-JUN-1988.
SDV352279Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/3G/TUD/UK223 5097-5098 12-JUL-1946.
SDV352287Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1949. RAF/58/209 Vp2. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Print. RAF/58/209 5063-5064 15-APR-1949.
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. DA64 - S0006552, Figs 4, 6.
SDV362147Worksheet: Jury, R.. 1996. Hollacombe Beach Gun Emplacement. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet.
SDV362148Worksheet: Fiorato, V.J.. 1999. Hollacombe Beach Gun Emplacement or Observation Post.

Associated Monuments

MDV126359Part of: Hollicombe Beach Defence Area, Torbay (Monument)
MDV105244Related to: Rocket battery platform on Hollicombe Beach, Torbay (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)
  • EDV7670 - Defence of Britain site visits
  • EDV7779 - World War II sites in Torbay

Date Last Edited:Aug 30 2019 10:56AM