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HER Number:MDV58401
Name:Exeter, Kenbury AA Battery


Heavy AA Battery at Kenbury, Exeter.


Grid Reference:SX 921 876
Map Sheet:SX98NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExminster
Ecclesiastical ParishEXMINSTER

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98NW/194

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

RAF, 1947, CPE/UK 1974, 1322 (Aerial Photograph). SDV310070.

APH=RAF/CPE/UK/1995/1322/(13/4/1947)/SMR 44/1. No features recorded on RAF 1947 AP (APH). Other details: 44/1.

Dobinson, C. S., 1996, Anti-aircraft artillery, 1914-46 (Monograph). SDV323690.

Kenbury. Heavy AA battery. Documented in June 1942. Manned by 421 Battery of 108 Regiment Royal Artillery. Four 3.7" guns. A mobile gun battery without fixed positions (Dobinson). Other details: AAI.

Dobinson, C. S., 1996, Twentieth Century Fortifications in England: Anti-aircraft Artillery, 1914-1946, 358 (Report - non-specific). SDV356328.

Francis, P., 1999, Exeter Airport. Historic Airport Survey for Devon County Council & East Devon District Council, 139 (Report - non-specific). SDV323390.

Site D4/Exeter 4. Four 3.7 inch guns of Heavy Anti-Aircraft 421 Battery, 108th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment (temporary 375 Battery, "A" Troop) and 421 Battery, during 1942.

Rainbird, P., 2017, Land at West Exe Park, Alphington, near Exeter: Evaluation (Report - Evaluation). SDV360299.

An archaeological trial trench evaluation on land at West Exe Park, Alphington, near Exeter, Devon, was undertaken by AC archaeology during March 2017. The site occupies approximately 13 hectares of agricultural land to the west of Exminster. The main archaeological interest is that a recent geophysical survey identified two potential rectangular enclosures of late prehistoric or Romano-British form, a ring ditch, which may relate to a ploughed-out former Bronze Age barrow, and a World War II gun battery platform. In addition, a series of linear anomalies relating to possible early land division were present.

Trench 5
This trench was located centrally in the western part of the site and measured 20m long eastwest. It was positioned to examine a high positive response interpreted from the results of the geophysics survey as the possible site of a World War II battery. Natural subsoil (context 502) was exposed at a depth of 0.40m below existing levels. The trench contained the remains of the World War II battery (504) and these are described below.

World War II battery
Structure 504 covered an area 4m wide east-west and continued beyond the limits of excavation to the north and south. It comprised two rubble-filled linear features (506-7), aligned north-south, which defined the east and west edges of the feature, with these linked by a line of bricks (505) aligned ESE-WSW. Abutting the inner sides of the rubble linear features (506-7) were a pair of rectangular concrete blocks. Finds associated with the structure were not collected, they came largely from a demolition layer (503) and included a pair of nail puller pliers, electrical wire, metal pieces and brick/tile; there were no finds of a specifically military type.

Dean, R., 2017, Land West of Exminster, Devon (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV360136.

This report presents the results of an archaeological magnetometer survey at the above site, hereafter referred to as the survey area. It has been prepared for AC Archaeology Ltd on behalf of clients. The survey area location is shown in Figure 1. Twenty-one magnetic anomaly groups were mapped as representing potential archaeological deposits or features.

Although the HER entry is unverified and so may be subject to revision, a mobile World War II anti-aircraft battery is thought to have been located within the survey area; HER entry MDV58401, SX 921 876, documented in June 1942. The battery was manned by 421 Battery of 108 Regiment Royal Artillery. It comprised of four 3.7" guns and was a mobile gun battery without fixed positions. Magnetic anomaly group 3 may represent this World War 2 anti aircraft battery. The battery is thought to have been mobile but this anomaly group appears to have a definite shape and may represent a steel or re-enforced concrete structure which suggests a static element to the battery position.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV310070Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. CPE/UK 1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 1322.
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. 139.
SDV323690Monograph: Dobinson, C. S.. 1996. Anti-aircraft artillery, 1914-46. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. I.4. A4 Bound.
SDV356328Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England: Anti-aircraft Artillery, 1914-1946. Council for British Archaeology Report. 1.3. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 358.
SDV360136Report - Geophysical Survey: Dean, R.. 2017. Land West of Exminster, Devon. Substrata. 1702EXM-R-1. Digital.
SDV360299Report - Evaluation: Rainbird, P.. 2017. Land at West Exe Park, Alphington, near Exeter: Evaluation. AC Archaeology. ACD1572/2/0. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4774 - Historic Airport Survey, Exeter Airport
  • EDV7237 - Magnetometer Survey, Land West of Exminster, Devon (Ref: 1702EXM-R-1)
  • EDV7323 - Evaluation: Land at West Exe Park, Alphington, near Exeter (Ref: ACD1572/2/0)

Date Last Edited:Aug 9 2017 4:17PM