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World War II underground operational base 500yds (457m) south west of Bentley Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Snargate, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0201 / 51°1'12"N

Longitude: 0.8267 / 0°49'36"E

OS Eastings: 598345.006991

OS Northings: 128327.610845

OS Grid: TQ983283

Mapcode National: GBR RY5.ZSB

Mapcode Global: FRA D6MF.1X5

Entry Name: World War II underground operational base 500yds (457m) SW of Bentley Cottage

Scheduled Date: 21 November 1975

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003123

English Heritage Legacy ID: KE 279

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Snargate

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Summary

World War II auxiliary hide or underground observational post.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a World War II auxiliary hide or underground observational post surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated on low-lying ground on Walland Marsh, north of Snargate Lane near Snargate.

The auxiliary hide is a rectangular room 2.1m by 2.4m by 4.6m with brick-lined walls and a concrete floor and roof. It is concealed below-ground next to a drain in a field on Walland Marsh. The hide is entered through 3.7m shafts at either end. Iron bars in the brick work form steps down through each of the shafts into the room below. The interior is separated from the entrance shafts by dwarf walls and retains its original water tank but no other fittings. There would originally have been two sets of three-tier bunk beds, a central table, benches and cupboards along the side walls.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

From the summer of 1940 England's defences were strengthened against the threat of German invasion. A large number and diversity of defensive structures were built across the whole country, from road and rail blocks to underground ‘hides’, from earthwork gun emplacements to barbed wire entanglements, anti-tank ditches and pillboxes. The most substantial of these were the pillboxes, small reinforced concrete or brick buildings of a diversity of shapes and forms, designed to house either infantry, anti-tank guns or field artillery. The full range of defensive structures was generally complementary, however, and a variety of structures were therefore built together, either at vulnerable or strategically important nodal points, along the coast, on the communications network, around vital installations such as airfields, or arranged in linear defensive systems called Stop Lines that were intended to obstruct the enemy's advance.

An auxiliary hide was a Second World War secret base, forming part of Britain’s anti-invasion defences. Sometimes partially underground, they were intended for the use of the British resistance in the eventuality of an invasion. In the event of a German invasion it was intended that saboteurs or resistance fighters should hide at the post and operate behind the invaders' lines.

Despite some later alterations, the World War II auxiliary hide 462m south-west of Bentley Cottage is a good example of its type which survives well. The base is cleverly concealed and well demonstrates a significant aspect of England’s anti-invasion strategy, acting as an operating position for saboteurs following the landing of enemy forces on the south coast.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Kent HER TQ 92 NE 9. NMR TQ 92 NE 9. PastScape 419256,

Source: Historic England

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