Wig Fach Rifle Range is a late nineteenth-century rifle range which went in and out of use during the twentieth century, on the basis of its portrayal on early editions of Ordnance Survey maps. The range underwent several changes but the site is likely to have been in use during both the First World War and the Second World War, but was also used by the police in the post-war period, according to local informants. Though long disused, concrete and earthwork structures of its later use can still be seen on the sand dunes.
There is no indication of a range here in 1877, the date of the first edition OS 25-inch map. The range was established before 1899 when it first appears on the second edition 25-inch plan. It took the form (as shown on the map) of a line of four targets in front of which were four ‘markers’ huts’ (SS85207737). To the west, firing positions were marked by 11 lines of posts and small box-like features over a distance of about 600 yds, though the positions are not shown as measured distances. The map is annotated ‘Old Rifle Range’. It was out of use at this time but may have come back into use during the Boer War. This range may have replaced an earlier one further to the east near Candleston (NPRN 420030).
By the third edition map of 1918 (surveyed 1913-14) the range had been developed into what is visible on the ground today (see NPRN 419922), offset slightly to the north of its predecessor though on the same alignment. The fourth edition (1947-52) six-inch plan portrays a second firing range parallel to this later range a short distance to the south, probably established during the Second World War when American troops were stationed nearby (local informant).
David Leighton & Daryl Leeworthy, RCAHMW, 10 December 2013.