Posted: 20 March 2006 22:05
Following on from yesterday's blog, this Type 25 "Armco" pillbox stands beside a rough track that leads to Pevensey Radar Station; see Subterranean Britannica for the history of this Chain Home Station.
This particular pillbox commands a bend in the road at TQ 639069; a watercourse several feet wide stands between the pillbox and the camera. Tall reeds tend to hide the pillbox, so if you don't know it's there, you probably won't see it. This Type 25 is listed in the Defence of Britain Project Database.
Moving along the road, at TQ 639064 we have what may be a pair of anti-tank cylinders. I didn't have the means to measure them, but the Defence of Britain Project's handbook 20th Century Defences in Britain: An Introductory Guide, gives dimensions of 3 feet high by 2 feet wide with a socket in the top to hold a barbed wire picket.
I've not seen these cylinders before, but a lot of vegetation appears to have been cut back since I last travelled this road. However, I think they're not in context (they're not listed by DoB, and may be the two blocks missing from Rickney) and have been placed here recently to reduce the chances of motorists leaving the road and ending up in the water course.
This photo demonstrates the potential of roadblocks in this marshy area; this road has these water-filled ditches on both sides in many places, making off-road outflanking of obstacles virtually impossible. Coupled with high, dense hedges on both sides, hazardous S-bends and blind corners, this is not good tank country unless infantry have cleared ambush parties first and the Germans would have made slow progress along this stretch had they come this way.
Freezing cold and immune to concrete road blocks on a bike, I turned around at this point and made very quick progress home...
Reinforced concrete cylindrical obstacles with a shaft down the centre in which could be inserted a crowbar for manhandling, or a picket for barbed wire. Cylinders were 90cm high and 60cm wide and deployed in groups of three as a more effective alternative for buoys.
A large project run by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) 1995-2002, collecting data on 20th century military structures submitted by a team of some 600 volunteers. The result was a database of nearly 20,000 records which is available online. The anti-invasion section of the database contains nearly 500 entries for East Sussex.
Generic term for a hardened field defensive structure usually constructed from concrete and/or masonry. Pillboxes were built in numerous types and variants depending on location and role.
A small circular pillbox, usually cast in concrete shuttered with corrugated iron. Sometimes referred to as an Armco pillbox after its manufacturer.
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Hibbs, Peter Rickney Roadblock 2 (2024) Available at: http://pillbox.org.uk/blog/216493/ Accessed: 5 March 2024
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