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Kibblesworth Common Rifle Range

Type: Firing Range

This is shown clearly on the third edition Ordnance Survey map of 1915, published in 1921, which shows firing positions set out at 200, 500 and 600 yards away from the probable site of the targets. The range may date from the pre-war period as World War One Regulations limited the length of firing ranges to 500 yards. The range might have been set up by the Beamish Rifle Volunteers who were absorbed into 8th Battalion Territorials around 1910. A site visit in 1992 found a brick lined pit from which the targets could be raised and lowered in a heavily wooded area. Although the sides of the pit were beginning to cave in, the whole site was relatively intact and even included baulks of wood sticking out of the west side of the pit, possibly the remains of the wooden framework to which the targets were attached. Behind the pit there was a large earthwork or stop bank, intended to prevent missed shots from causing damage, in which the core of a .303 bullet was found. Nearby a small windowless brick and concrete building with a steel door was found and this may have been used as an ammunition store for the rifle range.

Grid Reference: NZ23345520.

Sources and links:
Tyne and Wear HER 5295
R Whaley, J Morrison and D Heslop, A Guide to the Archaeology of the Twentieth Century Defence Sites of Tyne and Wear, Newcastle City Council Tyne & Wear Specialist Conservation team, (2008) p.17

Civil Parish: Lamesley

Contributed by George Muirhead

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