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Thread: Taunton Stopline – Chard Joint to Peasmarsh – September 2010

  1. #1
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    Arrow Taunton Stopline – Chard Joint to Peasmarsh – September 2010


    All quoted text is from the Somerset Historic Enviroment Record. The main HER site is at

    http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/Environ...eology/HER.htm

    Thanks to Krela (you know why) and cptpies (so do you).

    Info and History

    “A World War 2 anti-invasion stop line, facing west, built between July and November 1940.
    The stop line runs for approximately 50 miles from the mouth of River Brue to the mouth of the River Axe in Devon (with some infrastructure in Dorset). Some rear positions were prepared to the E of line. It connected to the ‘GHQ Line Green’ running East along River Brue.

    The line followed the River Parrett to Bridgwater where it joined the Bridgwater to Taunton Canal. From Creech St Michael it followed the old Chard Canal until SW of Ilton where it joined the Great Western Railway. The line left the GWR to the north of Chard Junction from where it followed the Southern Railway and River Axe running south into Devon.

    The planned infrastructure (most of which was built) included 233 pillboxes, 61 medium machine gun emplacements, 21 anti-tank gun emplacements, 83 road blocks, 22 railway blocks and 46 demolitions.

    The anti-tank obstacle consisted of about 24 miles of waterways, 7 miles of improved water obstacles, 11 miles of anti-tank ditches and 8 miles of artificial obstacles (eg cubes).

    From autumn 1940, twelve locations were prepared for all-round defence as ‘anti-tank islands’ of which 9 were in Somerset - Bridgwater, Durston, Creech St Michael, Wrantage and Crimson Hill, Ilton, Ilminster, Chard, Forton and Perry Street.”

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=15410

    I’ve split this into 3 sections, Chard Joint railway station, Chard Reservoir north to Knowle St Giles and Knowle St Giles to Peasmarsh.

    Chard Joint Railway Station

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=55455

    Chard Joint had defences forming the NW corner of the Chard Anti-Tank Island as well as being part of the Taunton Stopline proper. If you look on cptpies GE overlay you can see how they converged with the AT island around Chard. The labels given in my GE map shots are the original 1940 Stopline/ATI serial numbers for each site. I haven’t visited all of them yet so updates will follow.



    The Anti Tank wall at the southern end of the goods yard on the west side of the trackbed (included in a previous report and shown for context).



    A concrete base or platform approx 20 feet x 15 feet is apparent although partially buried by landscaping. Of unknown origin but probably connected to Stopline or AT island as it's immediately adjacent to the old route of the trackbed.

    The station building



    Pillbox M 66 – Type 24 - LMG emplacement

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=55292







    Pillbox M 65 (Type unknown) and AT cubes

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=15943

    The cubes are there but I couldn’t find the PB which is annoying as it’s described as a rectangular LMG emplacement on the original records. Will be taking another look.



    From North of Chard Reservoir to Knowle St Giles (TSL)



    Pillbox M 20 – Type 24 – LMG Emplacement

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=55187

    It’s buried in here





    There was also a roadblock (M RD 39) at this location.

    Rail Block M RL 17

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=16098





    AT Posts and Cubes

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=16099

    These run every 3 feet on the west side of the trackbed from just after M RL 17 to just before MAT 609 at the bridge.









    The bridge



    Pillbox MAT 609 – drg. no. LT 55 – Gun Emplacement

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=55177









    This was lying nearby



    Pillbox M 19 – Type 24 – LMG Emplacement

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=55190

    Originally disguised as a chicken hut. Pretty good description for a pillbox.



    Knowle St Giles to Peasmarsh



    Railblock M RL 16

    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=15978





    Pillbox M 63 – Type 24 – LMG Emplacement



    http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=55188

    Definitely there but totally overgrown and only accessible from inside the Sewage works compound. Will come back to it.

    As you can see from the GE map shots, I haven’t got to everything on this section yet but I will. Hope you enjoyed what I was able to photograph. Thanks for looking.


    › See more like: Taunton Stopline – Chard Joint to Peasmarsh – September 2010
    Last edited by Munchh; 15th Sep 10 at 21:18. Reason: response links added
    .................................................. ............................................
    A diplomat is someone who can tell you to 'sod off' in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
    .................................................. ............................................
    Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

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    Thanks given by: acen2006, AndyC, Armyguy, chizyramone, Deepcover, devonian42, fluffy5518, graybags, HypoBoy, krela, Locksley, MaBs, night crawler, nij4829, oldscrote, skeleton key, TK421, tom83, tommo, Walrus75, Winch It In

  2. #2
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    Nice one, Munchh.
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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  3. #3
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    Some interesting stuff here Munchh - thanks for posting

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    wow sounds like alot of hard work has paid off, interesting read cheers for that

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    Great stuff mate really good report of a place I would like to visit.

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    To all above, thanks for your comments.

    Yes it is growing into a big project which requires a lot of time and research which is why I haven't posted a report for a while. The info is all out there but fragmented. I'm gradually bringing it together for a fuller picture.

    I'm pleased to see other stopline reports on this forum which can only help in improving the overlay database, cptpies pute must be overheating with all the field info coming in. We're also identifying quite a few previously unknown sites (to the overlay database that is).

    BTW cptpies, let me know if you want my confirmed GE placemarks and I'll ping you the file and links.
    .................................................. ............................................
    A diplomat is someone who can tell you to 'sod off' in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
    .................................................. ............................................
    Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

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  7. #7
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    Great Stuff me ol' Munchher !!! Keep it up !!

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    Thanks given by: Munchh

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    Cracking post Munchh, more please. Hate to be pedantic but MAT609 is a field gun emplacement not a type 28. The holdfast looks like it has too many bolts for a 6Pdr so maybe some other type of AT gun was emplaced here.
    It was me I ate all the pies.

    My Defence of Britain overlay for Google Earth - Download it here.

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    Thanks given by: Munchh

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    Yet again another great and intriguing report, up to your usual high standard of information.

    Many Thanks Munchh

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    Thanks given by: Munchh

  10. #10
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    Thanks for this thoroughly researched report on a part of the countryside which is forgotten until people like your good self provide these photographs of what remains after, what, 70 odd years of neglect.

    It also goes to show that, for fellow Urbexers (or should I say Rurexers ) that, in some cases, areas to explorer are hiding in plain site.

    The link to the Somerset HER site should have been -> http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/d....asp?prn=15410. You wouldn;t by any chance know whether the Devon County Council provide a similar HER service would you?
    Last edited by devonian42; 18th Sep 10 at 22:41. Reason: After spell check.
    Beware Rurexers, in some cases, areas to explorer are hiding in plain site

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    Thanks given by: Munchh

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