HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV57291
Name:Second World War Rifle Range, Braunton Burrows

Summary

The site of a Second World War rifle range at the U.S. Army Assault Training Centre on Braunton Burrows is visible as earthwork banks and structures on aerial photographs the 1940s to the 1980s. The rifle range is now within the area of Saunton golf course and is not visible.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 458 362
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/260/4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RIFLE RANGE (World War II - 1943 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, 1944, Roads and Training Aids: U.S. Assault Training Center (Un-published). SDV339604.

'Target Pits' shown as a narrow rectangular feature to the east of the 'Hedgehog' on US Army plans.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/957, NMR RAF/106G/UK/957 4022-4023 30-OCT-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349054.

The firing range targets and firing platforms are clearly visible.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501, 3005 (Aerial Photograph). SDV337198.

Other details: HER 3/28.


Royal Air Force, 1949, RAF/541/402, NMR RAF/541/402 4040-4041 18-NOV-1949 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349942.

The firing platforms are clearly visible but most structures have been removed.


Royal Air Force, 1952, RAF/540/949, NMR RAF540/949 5042-5044 24-NOV-1952 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349761.

The firing platforms are still clear but no other structures can be seen.


Royal Air Force, 1959, RAF/80/788, NMR RAF/80/788 0042-0043 13-MAR-1959 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349053.

The earthwork platforms are less clearly visible.


Royal Air Force, 1964, RAF/543/2821 F63, NMR RAF/543/2821 F63 0220-0221 27-APR-1964 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349997.

The firing range earthworks are visible but appear low.


Ordnance Survey, 1989, OS/89115, NMR OS/89115 336-337 04-MAY-1989 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349086.

The firing range earthworks cannot be clearly identified.


Horner, B., 1997, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV339661.

Probable firing range recorded on 1946 aerial photograph as a series of parallel banks.


Bass, R. T., 2005, Spirits of the Sand: Field Edition, 67 (Monograph). SDV325697.

'Target Pits' mentioned but not located in 2005.


Environment Agency, 2006, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), LIDAR SS4436 Environmnent Agency D0059362 03-APR-2006 (Cartographic). SDV349740.

A small number of earthworks are identifiable.


Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref SS4536 04-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349344.

A small number of earthworks remain visible.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 826 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.


Next Perspectives, 2010, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref SS4636 08-APR-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349899.

A small number of earthworks remain visible.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

A rifle range of probable Second World War date is visible on aerial photographs of 1946 to 1964 as series of north-south aligned structures and earthwork banks on Braunton Burrows, arranged in parallel rows from east to west lines. Five earthwork banks, probably firing positions, can be seen arrayed from east to west at circa SS46143621, SS46053620, SS45863620, SS45773620 and SS45683620. The larger spacing between the second and third banks might be interpreted as indicating that a bank had been levelled by 1946 in the region of SS46953621. A small square structure circa 3.5 metres square, probably concrete, can be seen at circa SS45703619. The firing range targets are visible at the western end of the range as earthwork banks and structures defining a rectangular area circa 50 metres long north to south and 15 metres wide, east to west. The form of the targets is difficult to define but it appears to include two rows of twelve upright posts or structures set onto two earthwork banks, flanked to north and south by rectangular structures. This is the site annotated as ‘Target Pits’ on the U.S. Army map of the Assault Training Centre. To the north and south of the target area, and possibly directly abutting it, are further Assault Training Centre structures, comprising a mock up anti-tank ditch and anti-tank scaffolding.
By 1949 the structures abutting the anti-tank scaffold and the small structure at circa SS45703619 have been removed and by 1952 no structures are visible. The earthwork banks remain clearly visible if somewhat eroded in appearance in 1964, due in part to the creation of the Saunton golf course in this area, but are less clear in 1989. Nonetheless, several of the firing range earthworks do survive to be visible on digital interactive images derived from lidar data acquired in 2006, and digital interactive images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2010, notably the firing platforms centred at circa SS46143621 and SS45683620, and the landscaping of the target pits at the western end of the range.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325697Monograph: Bass, R. T.. 2005. Spirits of the Sand: Field Edition. Spirits of the Sand. A5 Paperback. 67.
SDV337198Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1501. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3005.
SDV339604Un-published: Unknown. 1944. Roads and Training Aids: U.S. Assault Training Center. U.S. Plans from R.T.Bass. Mixed Archive Material + Digital.
SDV339661Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 1997. Not Applicable.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 826.
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349053Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1959. RAF/80/788. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/80/788 0042-0043 13-MAR-1959.
SDV349054Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/957. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/957 4022-4023 30-OCT-1946.
SDV349086Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1989. OS/89115. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/89115 336-337 04-MAY-1989.
SDV349344Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref SS4536 04-MAY-2007.
SDV349740Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2006. LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS4436 Environmnent Agency D0059362 03-APR-2006.
SDV349761Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1952. RAF/540/949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF540/949 5042-5044 24-NOV-1952.
SDV349899Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2010. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref SS4636 08-APR-2010.
SDV349942Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1949. RAF/541/402. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/541/402 4040-4041 18-NOV-1949.
SDV349997Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. RAF/543/2821 F63. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF/543/2821 F63 0220-0221 27-APR-1964.

Associated Monuments

MDV57283Part of: Braunton Areas A, B, C and D of US Assault Training Centre (Monument)
MDV57316Related to: Braunton Burrows, Training Hedgehog (Monument)
MDV57292Related to: Second World War mock-up anti-tank obstacles, Braunton Burrows (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Jan 29 2016 3:06PM