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Submarine Pens in the middle of the New Forest?
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.
Parking is available at:
Ashley Walk GR 186157, Abbots Well GR 177128, Fritham GR 230141
All routes are firm gravel to within 100 metres of the cache.
This is a beautiful area and on a clear day the views are superb, so bring a picnic and spend some time here.
This cache is placed under the agreement between the GAGB and Forestry Commission in the New Forest.
Oynpx pbagnvare uvqqra ba gur evtug unaq fvqr bs gur ubyr. 300zz sebz gur pbapergr.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum