Fast Search

You are Here: Home / Whitburn, Rifle Ranges

Tyne and Wear HER(2587): Whitburn, Rifle Ranges - Details

Back to Search Results


S Tyneside

Whitburn, Rifle Ranges




Military Training Site

Firing Range




Five firing ranges, one of 40yds, one of 600yds and three of 500yds. This is possibly associated with a group of buildings on Mill Lane which may be barrack blocks. The earliest representation of these ranges seen so far is on the 1921 OS 6" map. This area was once part of the medieval field system associated with Whitburn village (HER 887). Sections of the medieval ridge and furrow earthworks were scraped away to create the ranges but elsewhere within the site boundary, evidence of the former cultivation system can be clearly seen. World War One practice trenches can be seen on aerial photographs. The land for the range was bought from Sir John Sherburn by the Territorial Force Association in 1912. The camp was occupied by the Regular Army throughout the First World War and wooden huts were built for a garrison approaching battalion strength. A trench system was dug using the characteristic ‘Greek Key’ pattern of firing bays and communication trenches. After the war the camp reverted to the Territorial Association until the Regular Army returned between1939-45. During this period, some of the trenches of the earlier war were re-excavated. By 1953 the wooden huts of the First War were replaced by the modern brick bungalows which today stand on the range. This work was carried out between 1954 and 1962, providing accommodation for approximately 250 troops. During the 1960s the Royal Engineers carried out ground clearance works, eliminating the ‘bumps and hollows’ between the butts and the camp and removing almost all traces of the trench system. At the same time concrete pillboxes were demolished and destroyed.




<< HER 2587 >> 3rd edition Ordnance Survey map, 1921, 3rd edn, 6, Durham, 4, SE; Archaeo-Environment Ltd, 2010, Limestone Landscapes Project; P. Abramson for Defence Esattes, July 2003, Whitburn Ranges: Archaeology and Historic Environment (version 2.0, draft for comment); SOUTH TYNESIDE LOCAL LIST REVIEW 2011, LSHA/191/W; Archaeological Services Durham University, Whitburn Rifle Range, Whitburn, South Tyneside, Heritage Statement; AD Archaeology, 2013, Whitburn Range Camp, Mill Lane, Whitburn, Archaeological Assessment

Back to Search Results