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World War II underground operational post, 1/3 mile (540m) south west of Chapel Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Newchurch, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0454 / 51°2'43"N

Longitude: 0.9555 / 0°57'19"E

OS Eastings: 607265.165729

OS Northings: 131497.202635

OS Grid: TR072314

Mapcode National: GBR SZH.8F4

Mapcode Global: FRA D6WC.430

Entry Name: World War II underground operational post, 1/3 mile (540m) SW of Chapel Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1975

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003781

English Heritage Legacy ID: KE 278

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Newchurch

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 Romney Marsh, south of Chapel Lane near Newchurch.

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 in the bank of a drain at the edge of a field on Romney Marsh. The hide is entered through 3.7m shafts at either end. The original hatches have been replaced by later cast-iron hatches. The fittings in the interior include two double-decker bunk beds, a wooden seat, shelves and a water tank.

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 of diverse 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 527m south-west of Chapel Farm is a good example of its type which survives well. The auxiliary hide has seen little disturbance since the Second World War and includes original fittings such as two double-decker bunk beds, a wooden seat, shelves and a water tank. 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 TR03SE9. NMR TR03SE9. PastScape 462979.,

Source: Historic England

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