Monument record SLY 093 - A World War II command centre, Shotley.

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A World War II command centre, Shotley.


Grid reference Centred TM 24186 34520 (348m by 302m)
Map sheet TM23SW


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

A military compound or strongpoint is visible as earthworks and structures on aerial photographs from 1944, centred on TM24233457 (S1). The site is divided into two halves by a roadway that approaches Shotley Gate from the west. Lengths of barbed wire define the extent of the compounds. The northern area is enclosed by 510m of barbed wire, which runs from circa TM24063448 to TM24343451. The southern area is bounded by 387m of wire, from circa TM24153448 to TM24343450. In total, the barbed wire encloses an area of circa 4.5ha. The northern area contains a number of earthwork features that may include weapons pits, pillboxes or other defensive emplacements, and a large central linear slit trench that leads from the roadway to a substantial breastwork and trench at TM24233456. It is probable that this site acted as a regional command centre. A roadblock controls the traffic on the roadway, at circa TM24143448, but it is not possible from the photographs to identify the exact form of the obstruction. No fieldworks are visible in the area to the south of the road, but it is possible any features present were disguised. There is a large entrance to the northern section at circa TM24273459, and a smaller entrance to the southern compound at circa TM 24323444. As with much of the barbed wire used during the war years, these transient obstructions appear to have been quickly removed after the war and by 1946, most of the earthworks have also been ploughed away (S2). The plough appears to have avoided some of the earthworks along the road edge up to 1947 (S3), possibly because they may have contained substantial disguised structures such as pillboxes, but these too have been destroyed or removed by 1951 (S4). The shape of the northern enclave and the line of the long trench are visible as faint cropmarks up to 1973 (S5).

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106GLA/23 4021-2 06-JULY-1944.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106G/UK1707 3351-2 29-AUG-1946.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF CPEUK/1937 3247-8 18-JAN-1947.
  • <S4> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 58/633 5074-5 18-APR-1951.
  • <S5> Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Ltd. Meridian - Air Photograph. MAL 44/73 189-190 22-AUG-1973.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Oct 21 2004 4:56PM

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