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Spigot mortar (Blacker Bombard) position

A Scheduled Monument in Hapton, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.7853 / 53°47'7"N

Longitude: -2.313 / 2°18'46"W

OS Eastings: 379473.504615

OS Northings: 432156.964025

OS Grid: SD794321

Mapcode National: GBR DS9N.1T

Mapcode Global: WH96Y.F3SX

Entry Name: Spigot mortar (Blacker Bombard) position

Scheduled Date: 21 December 2016

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1432881

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Hapton

Built-Up Area: Hapton

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Padiham with Hapton and Padiham Green

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

Summary

A Second World War position for using a ‘Blacker Bombard’ 29mm spigot mortar on a fixed swivel mounting, including two emplacements and an associated store and surviving as visible earthworks with concrete fittings, and an upstanding brick and concrete structure.

Source: Historic England

Details

A Second World War ‘Blacker Bombard’ spigot mortar position including two emplacements and an associated store.

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: the monument includes two circular weapons pits visible as low earthworks with exposed concrete structures (pedestals and ready-use ammunition lockers), with an approach trench, and an associated brick and concrete store.

DESCRIPTION: situated within a former private garden, currently (2016) part of an industrial site due to be redeveloped for housing, the site is located on a level platform approximately 1.2m high which is retained by a stone wall approximately 0.5m to the N. Approximately 120m to the S is the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, from which the ground falls gently to the N.

The first weapons pit is situated c45.5m to the E of the road. This comprises a circular pit c0.5m deep and 3m in diameter, with a central concrete thimble 1m in diameter, a peripheral concrete locker 0.8m wide and 0.4m long with flat top and sides, and surrounded by a low bank c1-1.5m wide. The bank has a gap on the W side, c2m wide at the top sloping down to c1.5m wide at the base. The locker is situated due E. The concrete thimble retains (in good condition) the stainless steel pin on which the Bombard was mounted. The second weapons pit is of similar dimensions and located 4.5m further to the E. However, its locker is located at the NW. Its thimble and pin are in similar condition. It is served by an approach trench which is visible as a very shallow depression c1m wide. This leaves the pit to the N of due E and runs eastward for c4m before running S for c9m.

The store stands c11m to the E of Manchester Road and measures 3.85m long and 1.75m wide, with the long axis aligned E-W. This is a brick (English bond) and concrete structure with the remains of its corrugated-iron roof: this is essentially an Anderson shelter design, adapted to create a store. The brick ends including a doorway in the E facing end, and concrete sides. The brick ends are slightly truncated but stand to c2m tall; they curve gently inwards above c1.5m and the curve suggests that the overall height would have been c2.5m. The concrete sides stand c1m tall. The apparent method of construction was the erection of the arched corrugated-iron roof, retained by concrete shuttering to 1m high along the sides inside and out, and then the erection of brick walls within the arch at either end, fitted around the inward-projecting concrete plinth.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: the scheduled monument includes the known extent of the position and comprises two discrete areas. The first is focussed on the weapons pits and approach trench, and the second on the store. The areas are defined by a 2m buffer around the visible remains for their protection and management.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The spigot mortar position at Hapton is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Rarity: the Hapton spigot mortar position is a rare example nationally given that two emplacements are located together and close to an associated store;
* Regional significance: this is one of only a handful of spigot mortar emplacements known in the north-west of England;
* Intactness: the position survives well and is readable, retaining a diversity of original features;
* Date: spigot mortar emplacements were an important component of the nation’s Second World War defence policy and are therefore representative of this period;
* Historical interest: the site has the potential to enhance our understanding of the construction, function and use of this type of defensive structure during the war.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Dobinson, C S, Twentieth Century Fortifications in England Volume II Anti Invasion Defences of WWII, (1996), 185-6
Foot, W, Beaches, Fields, Streets and Hills: the anti-invasion landscape of England 1940, (2006), 18
Websites
Defence of Britain survey database, accessed 26/04/16 from http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/dob/ai_q.cfm
Specialist second world war equipment website, accessed 17/03/16 from http://www.wwiiequipment.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93:the-blacker-bombard&catid=47:british&Itemid=59

Source: Historic England

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