Steve Grigg & Frank Collinson
An article by Dave Brewer in the Dartmoor Magazine from Winter 1996 provides an excellent summary of the Butter Brook rifle range which was only used for a short period, from April to July 1861.
The range comprises 4 alleys with 4 sets of butts with 4 Observation Posts. Each of these 4 alleys had two “lanes” with range markers up to 900 yds away at 50 yd intervals.
The original Dave Brewer sketch from the Dartmoor Magazine is shown below. At that time only 87 markers had been located. Subsequently 102 markers have been located.
This drawing is based on the original Dave Brewer drawing in the DM but has been amended to show the approx. location of all the 102 markers. This is not to scale. Apparently, the military were only given landowner permission for a range within Ugborough Parish.
Google Earth picture showing the 4 Butts and 4 OPs. There were over 500 troops stationed here in 1861 in 50 tents. Dave Brewer’s article mentions different regiments being assigned different butts
Dave Brewer mentions Alley 1 (which it is assumed meant Alley A) was used by the 2nd & 12th regiments.
Range markers Alley A (1). There are 10 markers from 100 through 600 with 500 missing (where the tramway is)
Range markers Alley A (2). There are 16 markers from 150 through 900 with 100 missing
Interestingly, around the 700 to 800 yard mark on Alley A, you can’t see the butts. However, the are several raised platforms.
Were these used to elevate the rifleman, so he could see the butts ?
Dave Brewer mentions Alley 2 (which it is assumed meant Alley B) was used by the 53rd regiment.
Range markers Alley B (1). There are 10 markers from 100 through 600 with 500 missing (where the tramway is). Note the the 4 of the 400 and 450 are engraved backwards.
Range markers Alley B (2). There are 17 markers from 100 through 900.
Dave Brewer mentions Alley 3 (which is assumed meant Alley C) was used by the 61st regiment.
Range markers Alley C (1). There are 7 markers from 100 through 400.
Range markers Alley C (2). There are 17 markers from 100 through 900. Note the 250 marker has engraving on side of marker, which made this one difficult to find.
Dave Brewer mentions Alley 4 (which I assume he also meant Alley D) was used by the Royal Marines.
Range markers Alley D (1). There are 10 markers from 100 through 550. The 550 marker has engraving on its side
Range markers Alley D (2). There are 15 markers from 150 through 900, with 750 missing (this just south of tramway)
850 marker on Alley D (2) close to Hangershell Rock
900 marker on Alley D (2) close to Hangershell rock