Friday, November 30

Warfare near the New Forest Fairy Glen - More

Jon has provided further details of the ex World War II buildings, with information which starts to put some real meat on the bones of the history around this area.

So with due acknowledgement to the source site for this http://www.geocaching.com/s here's the relevant article:

"This virtual cache is situated on Ibsley Common in the New Forest, north of Ringwood.

The cache site is the remains of a WWII Radio Direction Finding Station or D/F Station. D/F usually consisted of three stations working on the same frequency. A pilot, who was lost or uncertain of his position, would transmit on a frequency asking for a ‘fix’. The three stations receiving the signal could then use the three different bearings to give the position. All that can be seen at the site now is the blast wall. This wall protected the D/F building from any bombs dropping. Fortunately, the only bomb dropped nearby fell two to three hundred yards away.


The D/F building was about 24 feet in height and was made out of wood and felt (so it would not interfere with reception). When inside the blast wall look for the bolts that used to anchor the building down. Set around the building, at the points of the compass, are small concrete blocks in amongst the heather. Off to the east, about 50 yards is the remains of the WAAF accommodation block.

The air raid shelter is home to a family of adders – BE WARNED"

And there's some further detail on another WWII feature:

"During the Second World War this area was the Ashley Walk Bombing Range.

The RAF brought back evidence that the Germans were building vast structures of reinforced concrete to house their submarines. This knowledge led to a massive reinforced concrete raft, 6ft thick, 79ft by 70ft being built of high quality concrete, for the purpose of testing. It is supported on five equidistant walls 6ft high on a foundation 20 inches thick. In 1942 this cost £250,000!

During the clear up of the area, after the war, this structure proved to be indestructible and so had to be buried. Today it is marked as a Tumulus on an OS map.

As you walk to the top of the ‘Pens’ you will be able to see some of the reinforced concrete. When at the top look around and you will see many small depressions, these are the remains of bomb craters. To the NW (about 100 metres) there is a larger crater. This is where the only ‘Grand Slam’ bomb (22000lb) was dropped on test and exploded. It created a crater 100ft in diameter and 70ft in depth.

Today it is marked by a large growth of reeds in a slight depression"
(Source reference)

Both were posted by the same individual Coordin8z and hopefully there's more to come.

Personally this sort of information really brings the past to life for me, and gives a real focus when planning walks in this area. And lets face it at this time of year we need all the impetus we can find to get out there for more than the short burst walk around regularly visit spots.

Thanks again Jon for tracking this down, and giving me the poke to get out for further exploration.

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