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:MDV77283
Name:Road Block, Morton Way, Axminster


Anti-tank obstacle set within a track extending east of Morton Way. Part of the Second World War Taunton Stop Line constructed in 1940.


Grid Reference:SY 298 979
Map Sheet:SY29NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Context One Archaeological Services Ltd: COAS/WBF/09/MWA
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: 444/2009

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROADBLOCK (Constructed, World War II - 1940 AD to 1940 AD)

Full description

Mason, C., 2010, Land off Morton Way, Axminster, Devon. A Limited Archaeological Excavation and Recording Programme (Report - non-specific). SDV344617.

The concrete foundations of a Second World War anti-tank road block associated with the Taunton Stop Line. This would have formed part of the Axminster Anti-Tank Island, which would have enabled the town to be defended from all sides, and allow flanking fire to be directed on the enemy, should the Stop Line have been breached. The road block was probably constructed by the 551st Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers, in 1940 or 1941.
The foundations extended across a minor east to west aligned track, and would originally have had 36 sockets covered by moveable concrete covers. The sockets were designed to receive steel barricades that could be erected to block access to the town should the need arise. The concrete covers prevented the holes from silting up, and allowed the track to remain in use when the barricades were not in place.
The configuration of the sockets suggests that the barricade originally comprised both 'vertical rail' and 'hairpin' type road blocks. These were probably arranged with an outer row of four vertical rails at either end of the structure, a row of four hairpins behind them, and a further 14 vertical rails in the central area.

Hunt, D., 2011, Searchlight Site at Wyke Farm Axminster (Correspondence). SDV347066.

The Taunton Line road block at Foxhill (see DSC0 1467) still just survives amid building work.

Hunt, D., 2011, SY29NE Road Block Foxhill (Ground Photograph). SDV347068.

Pillbox Study Group, 2012, WWII Defence Sites, e27162 (Un-published). SDV357880.

Anti Tank Vertical Rail. Anti tank vertical rail sockets complete with concrete plugs listed as 32b on original plans of the Taunton Stop Line.

Pillbox Study Group, 2020, Modern Defence Sites in Devon, e27162 (Report - Survey). SDV363684.

Anti tank vertical rail sockets complete with concrete plugs listed as 32b on the original Taunton Stop Line plans.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV344617Report - non-specific: Mason, C.. 2010. Land off Morton Way, Axminster, Devon. A Limited Archaeological Excavation and Recording Programme. Context One Archaeological Services Report. WBF/09/MWA. A4 Stapled + Digital. [Mapped feature: #104254 ]
SDV347066Correspondence: Hunt, D.. 2011. Searchlight Site at Wyke Farm Axminster. Email. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347068Ground Photograph: Hunt, D.. 2011. SY29NE Road Block Foxhill. Photograph (Digital).
SDV357880Un-published: Pillbox Study Group. 2012. WWII Defence Sites. Digital. e27162.
SDV363684Report - Survey: Pillbox Study Group. 2020. Modern Defence Sites in Devon. Pillbox Study Group. Digital. e27162.

Associated Monuments

MDV45243Part of: Axminster Strong Point on the Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV119535Part of: The Taunton Stop Line (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 30 2021 5:55PM