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HER Number:MDV56228
Name:Prisoner of War camp, Roborough Down

Summary

Military camp, probably a Second World War prisoner of war camp, visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946. Rows of huts and hut platforms visible within the subdivisions. The bulk of the accommodation was probably tented with a single row huts in each quarter. Some hut platforms are still visible on the ground.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 504 651
Map Sheet:SX56NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckland Monachorum
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKLAND MONACHORUM

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of World War II prisoner of war camp on Roborough Down

Other References/Statuses

  • National Archaeological Record: 1413147
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NW/201
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PRISONER OF WAR CAMP (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1942, RAF/HLA/592, RAF/HLA/592 FP 1025-1026 08-JUN-1942 (Aerial Photograph). SDV359543.

No camp is visible, only trackways visible across the open ground.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1190, RAF/106G/UK/1190 RS 4273-4274 27-FEB-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363067.

The military camp is visible as compartmentalised enclosures, structures, trackways and cropmarks.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4299 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Visible on aerial photograph.

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Visible on the aerial photographs.

Royal Air Force, 1964, RAF/58/6399, RAF/58/6399 F62 0376-0377 02-JUL-1964 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363068.

The camp is not visible.

Wasley, G., 1994, Devon at War 1939-1945, 181 (Monograph). SDV72735.

This is probably the "Bickley" (? for Bickleigh) camp for military prisoners, at Yelverton, referred to by Wasley.

Horner, B., 1996, Defence of Britain Worksheet (Worksheet). SDV257119.

Military camp, probably a prisoner of war camp. Area of subdivided compound with fenced annexe to south-east recorded on Royal Air Force 1946 aerial photograph coverage.
Rows of huts and hut platforms visible within the subdivisions. There is an interned entrance to the camp. It is possible to distinguish some order within the layout, with guard huts at the entrance within an otherwise empty quarter of the camp. Three tracks lead into the other three subdivisions. There is a hut at the entrance to each of these, possibly for guards or a canteen.
The bulk of the accommodation was probably tented with the only buildings being a single row of ablution or officers huts in each quarter. Some huts are visible on the aerial photograph, others are just hut platforms. Possible guard camp to the south (see subsheet).
No features are recorded on the 1954 Ordnance Survey map or on current Devon County Council computerised map database.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 1999-2017, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs, Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5065 01-JUN-2002 to 14-SEP-2002 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363087.

A linear earthwork ditch is visible in the northern part of the camp.

Phillips, I., 2014, Roborough Down Camp (Correspondence). SDV357609.

At least 16 World War Two Bell Tent circles noted whilst walking. All circles measure about 5.0 metres in diameter and were noted in an area about 50 metres wide and 150 metres long, curving gently along a westerly facing contour towards the hill top. They are spaced about 2.5 metres apart and the platforms are very regular in size; with identical gully cross sections.
In an area about 200 metres away, a further two were spotted.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

The Prisoner of War camp is visible as a complex of structures, trackways and earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1946. A larger segmented enclosure in the north is linked to a smaller one in the south by a linear boundary, with a small rectilinear enclosure between the two. The enclosures appear to be bound by barbed wire. Small structures are located just outside the larger enclosure at the corners and the ends of some of the divisions, and may be watch towers. An inturned entrance on the south-west side has a rectilinear structure or hut base outside it. Within the large segmented enclosure a trackway leads from the entrance to each of the subdivided areas. Individual extant structures or hut bases are visible near the entrance and just inside the access points to each of the areas. A complex of low flat rectilinear and curvilinear structures linked by clear trackways is visible in the western segment, though no superstructures remained. There are two rows of extant rectilinear structures of variable length in the north and east segments running along the north-east boundary. Also in the north and east segments are rows of circular pale cropmarks or slight earthworks, circa 4-5 metres in diameter, presumably the locations of tents.
A further area to the north-west seems to have been partly enclosed by barbed wire. Within this area a row of rectilinear pits is visible, and structures for hut bases along a curving track. The small enclosure also contains a small rectilinear structure.
By 1964 the camp was not visible on aerial photographs, although its northern boundary appears to remain visible as a linear earthwork ditch centred at approximately SX5034565474 on aerial photographs taken in 2002.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4299.
SDV257119Worksheet: Horner, B.. 1996. Defence of Britain Worksheet. Defence of Britain Project. Unknown.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV357609Correspondence: Phillips, I.. 2014. Roborough Down Camp. Email. Digital.
SDV359543Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1942. RAF/HLA/592. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/HLA/592 FP 1025-1026 08-JUN-1942.
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363067Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1190. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1190 RS 4273-4274 27-FEB-1946. [Mapped feature: #95493 ]
SDV363068Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. RAF/58/6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/58/6399 F62 0376-0377 02-JUL-1964.
SDV363087Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 1999-2017. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5065 01-JUN-2002 to 14-SEP-2002.
SDV72735Monograph: Wasley, G.. 1994. Devon at War 1939-1945. Devon at War. A4 Hardback. 181.

Associated Monuments

MDV56229Related to: Military barracks north of Webbers, Buckland Monachorum (Monument)
MDV56691Related to: VHF Transmitting Site, Roborough Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Sep 11 2020 2:23PM