Tuesday 2 October 2012

The Hidden Rifle Range

Thanks to a young chap via the Facebook page, we were pointed in the direction of something completely new to us & unsurprisingly so due to it's sheltered location on the outskirts of Plymouth, which shall remain anonymous due to being on private land. It may just be a simple rifle range for locals but we intend to determine if it had any military use after finding a small piece of graffiti half-worn away on the whitewashed brick. Similar graffiti found in other military structures often refer to a soldiers company & as seen in the photo, what looks like a 'C' which could have been C Company.

Across the stream, the bunker is out of picture to the right

The tree on the right now sits in front of the bunker

Side roof section view

Barred window now overgrown
Looking through the window - targets acquired

The range itself lies in a deep valley, with the targets across a stream & built into the hillside which is now a wooded area. Without that much needed help of local knowledge we would probably never have seen it & a thanks also goes to the three young farmers who guided us to the semi-sunken range targets & bunker. Consisting of just 2 target hoists & a protected bunker for the persons operating the targets, it made us wonder if the range was purposely built for Army Officers & in just 2 days since visiting the site, have found references to WWI training taking place in the area. Further research is clearly required!

Mud covered steps lead down to the target hoists & bunker
Looking down into the target hoist pit
Another view from above
Target hoists
Top section of the target hoist
Lower section
Target pully wheels
Ceramic socket
Look up above the target & notice fern now covering the bullet impact area
Look even harder, the two dark patches are the target impact areas
Inside the small protective bunker
Old graffiti, sadly almost worn away

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