Posted: 8 January 2011 23:13

A quick forray into the woods to locate an airstrip resulted in my finding what appears at first glance to be an artillery gunpit.

It comprises an obvious excavation 7x4m with the spoil heaped up on three sides. I'm usually sceptical where an earthwork might be related to some forestry or woodland management activity, but we have documented military activity here both during and after the war. My father remembers seeing artillery gunpits being dug in the 1950's and this might perhaps be one.


The only issue for me is, however, that the pit seemingly does not allow for much gun traverse; you would expect the rear of the pit to fan out to allow either a split-trail or single-trail gun (such as the 5.5-inch or 25-pounder respectively) to pivot round.

About 20m away I stumbled across a series of slit trenches; as it was starting to snow lightly, I only had time to highlight the one below with sticks.


The close proximity of these trenches strengthens the case for the pit being military, especially as they're situated on a track junction. It's obviously been excavated to house something, the question is, what?

- Pete



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Slit trench

Small, narrow trench designed to provide protection against shrapnel and other battlefield hazards. Technically distinct from a weapon pit (which was intended soley as a defensive position) slit trenches were also used as defence works.

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Hibbs, Peter An interesting earthwork (2024) Available at: Accessed: 17 July 2024

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