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HER Number:MDV57480
Name:Possible US Army heavy anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) gun site, Sticklepath

Summary

The remains of a possible Second World War US Army heavy anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) gun site are visible as a structure, earthworks and levelled earthworks on aerial photographs of 1945 onwards, to the south-east of Sticklepath Court, Sticklepath, Barnstaple. The possible command centre structure has been removed by 1973 but the site earthworks remain visible on images derived from Lidar and have been visited in the field.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 554 323
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
Civil ParishTawstock
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAWSTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/559

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HEAVY ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY? (World War II - 1942 AD to 1944 AD (Between))

Full description

Horner, B., 13/05/1997, Earthworks (Personal Comment). SDV87807.

Earthworks reported by local fieldworkers.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/957, NMR RAF/106G/UK/957 3005-6 30-OCT-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349054.

Four or five possible embanked gun emplacements and a bank bounded spinal trackway are visible as earthworks. A possible command post is visible as a structure to the north. Map object partly based on this source.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1420, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1420 3416-7 15-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349553.

An attempt has been made to level the site and the possible gun emplacements and trackway are visible as largely levelled or spread earthworks. Map object partly based on this source.


Meridian Airmaps Limited, 1965, MAL/65062, NMR MAL/65062 054-055 01-JUL-1965 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350191.

A structure remains visible in the same location as the tentatively identified command post, possibly reused as a garden structure. The possible gun emplacements and trackway remain visible as low earthworks.


Ordnance Survey, 1973, OS/73110, NMR OS/73110 047-048 59-APR-1973 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350281.

The possible gun emplacements and trackway remain partly visible as low earthworks but the possible command post structure has been demolished.


Exeter Archaeology, 2000, Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Development Area at Larkbear Near Barnstaple, 5, 11 (Report - Assessment). SDV79105.

Earthworks, 10 metres by 8 metres visible during fieldwork in 2000. Appeared to be a track or pipeline.


Next Perspectives, 2001, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS5532 22-MAY-2001 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349376.

The possible gun emplacements and trackway remain partly visible as low earthworks.


Environment Agency, 2006-2007, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), LIDAR SS5532 Environment Agency D0072965 Nov-2006 to Feb-2007 (Cartographic). SDV349850.

The possible gun emplacements and trackway remain partly visible as low earthworks.


Environment Agency, 2006-2007, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), LIDAR SS5532 Environment Agency D0072978 Nov-2006 to Feb-2007 (Cartographic). SDV349850.

The possible gun emplacements and trackway remain partly visible as low earthworks.


Next Perspectives, 2007, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS5532 03-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350196.

The possible gun emplacements and trackway remain partly visible as parchworks.


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

The remains of a site interpreted as possibly being a US Army heavy anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) gun site of Second World War date are visible as a structure, earthworks and levelled earthworks on aerial photographs of 1945 onwards, to the south-east of Sticklepath Court, Sticklepath, Barnstaple. The site is arrayed around a central reveted or embanked trackway, circa 150 metres long and orientated north to south from circa SS55453243 to circa SS55503232. To either side of the track are arranged embanked enclosures circa 9-10 metres square, connected to the central trackway by shorter lengths of track. These have been interpreted as possible gun emplacements. Three are clearly visible to the east of the track, two the west, one of which is partly obscured by tree cover. No internal features such as gun holdfasts can be seen within the emplacements by October 1945, the earliest photograph available to the survey on which this feature is clearly visible. A rectangular structure is visible centred on circa SS 55453246, within a field or garden to the north of the earthworks. This has been tentatively interpreted as the gun site command post.
The possible emplacement earthworks have been largely levelled by April 1946, but remain visible as partial and low earthworks on interactive digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2001 and 2007. They are also visible as earthworks on digital images derived from Lidar data acquired in 2007.
The possible command post structure remained visible on aerial photographs of July 1965, possibly reused as an agricultural or garden structure, but had been removed by April 1973


Roger Thomas, Architectural Investigator, English Heritage, 2012-2013, Telephone and email correspondence (Personal Comment). SDV349402.

Roger Thomas comments that this site is unusual for a British heavy anti-aircraft artillery site (HAA) and suggests that it might be a US Army heavy anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) gun site associated with the Assault Training Centre at Braunton Burrows and Woolacombe. It might be a half battery, full batteries consisting of eight guns, as at East Blockhouse Battery, Angle, Pembrokeshire. American AAA units were frequently installed on gun sites in the same area as US troops were billeted, both as a familiarity and training exercise. Many were moved to the south coast just before D-Day as part of the Diver deployments.


Bass, R., 2013, Comments on draft ND AONB NMP report from Richard Bass (Personal Comment). SDV350949.

The main American AA defences were not in this location but west of Braunton above Lobb Fields together with their airstrip.


Lewis, D., Sept 2011, Land at Larkbear, Barnstaple: Archaeological Desk-based Assessment, 13, 21 (Report - Assessment). SDV352261.

Ground evidence suggests that rather than being a series of rectangular platforms the earthworks include a sunken lane on a curving south to north-east alignment before being cut by the A361. Further tracks spur off to the west and east and appear to peter out quite rapidly. They are not depicted on historic mapping. It is suggested tthat the earthworks represent an arterial trackway with side spurs providing access to individual gun or searchlight platforms. However, the platforms are no longer visible above ground.

Sources / Further Reading

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
SDV349054Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/957. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/957 3005-6 30-OCT-1945.
SDV349376Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2001. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS5532 22-MAY-2001.
SDV349402Personal Comment: Roger Thomas, Architectural Investigator, English Heritage. 2012-2013. Telephone and email correspondence.
SDV349553Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1420. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1420 3416-7 15-APR-1946.
SDV349850Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2006-2007. LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS5532 Environment Agency D0072978 Nov-2006 to Feb-2007.
SDV350191Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1965. MAL/65062. Meridian Airmaps Limited Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR MAL/65062 054-055 01-JUL-1965.
SDV350196Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS5532 03-MAY-2007.
SDV350281Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1973. OS/73110. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/73110 047-048 59-APR-1973.
SDV350949Personal Comment: Bass, R.. 2013. Comments on draft ND AONB NMP report from Richard Bass.
SDV352261Report - Assessment: Lewis, D.. Sept 2011. Land at Larkbear, Barnstaple: Archaeological Desk-based Assessment. The Environmental Dimension Partnership (EDP). H_EDP1340_01. A4 Stapled + Digital. 13, 21.
SDV79105Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2000. Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Development Area at Larkbear Near Barnstaple. Exeter Archaeology Report. 00.83. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5, 11.
SDV87807Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 13/05/1997. Earthworks. Not Applicable.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Mar 13 2014 12:20PM