PDA

View Full Version : A defensive position through the centuries...



Hanglands
04-28-2007, 11:54 AM
Hi,

I fixed up my ol' bicycle at the weekend, and on my day off this week I went for a ride into the countryside about half an hours ride from where I live.

I started pedaling down this bank that I thought was an old ****, until I found a sign saying it was some Iron Age fortification. As I was cycling along, I found three pill boxes fairly close together. Ive seen hundreds throughout the country, but never in such an interesting place. I've certainly never had time to crawl into one.


The defensive bank, the cycle path i along the top. the red arrow shows a pillbox in the distance:
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxbank.jpg

One of the three pillboxes was filled in :
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxfilledin.jpg

A close up of a crumbling pillbox wall. The bricks look like a thin 'cladding' as they are so erroded. Where they have fallen away, concrete is revealed :
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxcrumblingwall.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxarpeture.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/pillbox1.jpg

The entrances are just a hole in the ground now :
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxentrance.jpg

Three photos made into one, showing the interior of the best preserved pillbox:
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/pillboxinternal.jpg
The openings are visible on either side. The glint of light on the top of the right hand section is a square hole that opens onto the roof of the structure, maybe for an antennae?
Also in this photo you can see the concrete slabs making the inner part of the roof.

Regards.

Hanglands
04-28-2007, 11:54 AM
Hi,

I fixed up my ol' bicycle at the weekend, and on my day off this week I went for a ride into the countryside about half an hours ride from where I live.

I started pedaling down this bank that I thought was an old ****, until I found a sign saying it was some Iron Age fortification. As I was cycling along, I found three pill boxes fairly close together. Ive seen hundreds throughout the country, but never in such an interesting place. I've certainly never had time to crawl into one.


The defensive bank, the cycle path i along the top. the red arrow shows a pillbox in the distance:
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxbank.jpg

One of the three pillboxes was filled in :
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxfilledin.jpg

A close up of a crumbling pillbox wall. The bricks look like a thin 'cladding' as they are so erroded. Where they have fallen away, concrete is revealed :
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxcrumblingwall.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxarpeture.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/pillbox1.jpg

The entrances are just a hole in the ground now :
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/Pillboxentrance.jpg

Three photos made into one, showing the interior of the best preserved pillbox:
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/pillboxinternal.jpg
The openings are visible on either side. The glint of light on the top of the right hand section is a square hole that opens onto the roof of the structure, maybe for an antennae?
Also in this photo you can see the concrete slabs making the inner part of the roof.

Regards.

ploughman
04-28-2007, 12:09 PM
Hi Hanglands, thanks for those pics. Do you live in the west or south west?

I live in Bradford on Avon which has lots of these 1940 pill boxes. As France fell the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, FM Ironsides (effing great name eh?) devised a plan of land defence based on militia infantry supported by pill boxes defending discrete lines while regular army formed mobile units that would attack German units as they advanced north from the south coast. A defensive line called the GHQ line extended west from London following the line of the the Kennet and Avon Canal to Bristol which combined with railway, river and natural lay of the land formed a coherent defensive complex. German units were to be contained by the GHQ line and reduced south of it. From June to late july 1940 over 22,000 (if I remember rightly) pill boxes were constructed throughout England and elsewhere as part of this plan. Pill boxes overlooking bridges or probably crossing pointe were designed to host 2-4 ponder gunsThe bricks on the outside of the concrete structure are designed to act to capture splinters from direct fire on the structure that otherwise might injure or kill the supporting infantry. In August 1940 Ironsides was replaced and his plan scrapped in favour of a more mobile defence but his legacy remains, especially across the south.

Hanglands
04-28-2007, 01:18 PM
Hiya Ploughman,

I live in East Anglia, Peterborough to be exact.

The photos here were taken on Borough Fen.


I think these pill boxes were roughly north facing.

Thats an interesting fact about the wall design, I didnt know that. Thanks.

Regards.

ploughman
04-28-2007, 01:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hanglands:
Hiya Ploughman,

I live in East Anglia, Peterborough to be exact.

The photos here were taken on Borough Fen.


I think these pill boxes were roughly north facing.

Thats an interesting fact about the wall design, I didnt know that. Thanks.

Regards. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yo, That makes sense, we've similar iron age structures in the Somerset levels, ****s and so on.

If you're interested here's (http://www.pillboxesuk.co.uk/) a site about defensive structures from WWII that's pretty interesting.

Hanglands
04-28-2007, 04:19 PM
A good site there Ploughman, I look forward to digging around that one when Im sober.

Heres one I found :

Defence Of Britain. (http://www.britarch.ac.uk/projects/dob/index.html)

Heres the database from Defense of Britain

Defence Of Britain Database (http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/ai_q.cfm)

For the database, just select a defence/structure type, and your county/area and yer away....


Regards.