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HER Number:MDV79572
Name:Anti Aircraft Battery, Alphington Allotments


A command post and four adjacent gun positions at south-east end of Alphington allotments is visible as structures and earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1945 and 1946. Further trackways and structures in the wider vicinity are also part of this Second World War military complex. Some of the buidings are extant.


Grid Reference:SX 921 900
Map Sheet:SX99SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExeter
Ecclesiastical ParishALPHINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/780, RAF/106G/UK/780 RVp2 6111-6112 09-SEP-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354839.

A complex of structures, trackways and earthworks is visible. Map object based on this source.

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

Rectangular building and four gun positions visible. Map object based on this Source.

Royal Air Force, 1955, RAF/540/1579, RAF/540/1579 F22 0055-0056 01-APR-1955 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354850.

The gun positions are not visible but the central command post appears to survive.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

The central command post structure is visible, although partially obscured by trees.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Map object previously based on this Source.

Passmore, M., 2011, Second World War Anti-Aircraft Site, Alphington, Exeter, 1-2 (Report - non-specific). SDV346828.

The site of an anti-aircraft battery at Alphington, Exeter, has been identified from a Royal Air Force vertical aerial photograph. The photograph shows a command post and four adjacent gun positions, and nearby structures that were undoubtedly associated with the site. The site was visited on 4 March 2011. It is on and adjacent to, City Council allotments and thus is located on land not accessible to the general public. The command post's doors have been sealed, and general access and photography limited by trees and undergrowth, but the photographs provide an indication of the site. Nothing remains of the four gun positions noted on the aerial photograph. Other details: Photographs.

Passmore, M., 2011, World War II Sites Alphington and Belmont Park (Correspondence). SDV347430.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

The anti-aircraft battery at Alphington is clearly visible on aerial photographs taken in September 1945 as structural and earthwork remains, most of which are located within a small field. Four gun positions were sited along the pre-existing south and east hedgelines, and these appear to have been in the process of demolition or dismantling at this date. A central roughly circular probable concrete base was visible, with the surrounding structures partially exposed, the earthwork bund having been removed to a greater or lesser degree. Some of the structures were still flat roofed but many were not and the internal compartments of these are visible. The command post, located 10-15 metres from the gun positions, is clearly visible including what appear to be two opposing entrances flanked by sloping concrete walls. Small curved roofed structures circa 2 by 5 metres were present, one adjacent to the command post, and another adjacent to one of the gun positions at 292219,90027.
Larger curved roofed structures resembling Nissen huts were located either side of the hedge on the west of the field, and two of these were extant, although one had been altered, in 2011 (MDV79573 and MDV79574). Just outside the field along the northern boundary a small curved roofed structure 5 by 7 metres was sited next to a pale, probably concrete, trackway. This ran along the boundary and beyond the field to the east, terminating at a flat probable concrete structure seemingly comprising a rectangular and two circular features. Additional flat pale structures, presumably concrete bases for structures or hardstanding, were visible within the field and one adjacent to the track north of the field. South of the field a narrow linear feature, perhaps a slight earthwork ditch but more likely a line of darker vegetation, was visible. This could have formed along the line of a military boundary, perhaps of barbed wire, that had been recently removed in September 1945. It has not been transcribed but is indicated by the extent of the site. The gun positions were not visible on aerial photographs post-dating the 1940s and had apparently been removed by April 1955. However the command post appears as extant and roofed, although somewhat obscured by trees, on aerial photographs taken in 2010.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV346828Report - non-specific: Passmore, M.. 2011. Second World War Anti-Aircraft Site, Alphington, Exeter. A4 Single Sheet + Digital. 1-2.
SDV347430Correspondence: Passmore, M.. 2011. World War II Sites Alphington and Belmont Park. Email. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV354839Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/780. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/780 RVp2 6111-6112 09-SEP-1945.
SDV354850Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1955. RAF/540/1579. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/540/1579 F22 0055-0056 01-APR-1955.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV79574Related to: Fomer Military Building, Alphington Allotments (Monument)
MDV79573Related to: Handcraft Hut, Alphington Allotments (Monument)
MDV113147Related to: Military Site or Base South of Alphington Anti-Aircraft Battery (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Jan 15 2016 4:22PM