Posted: 27 April 2008 21:57

Barcombe Mills During Saturday's archive visit I came across mention of a new bridge being built at Barcombe Mills by the Canadians in 1941 to allow heavy tanks to cross the River Ouse.

Although it is well-known that this bridge was a later addition, I was interested in a roadblock of 40 pimples at the southern end that were cast shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, a walk along the verge showed that all had now gone; the bridge was rebuilt at some point afer the war and so they were probably removed at the same time.

This newer bridge causes a lot of confusion amongst those who don't realise that the Type 24 and Type 28 pillboxes on the 'island' predate it; they only defend a pair of bridges (the original road) while the 1941 bridge bypasses them.

Barcombe Mills

Two other nearby Type 24s had their doors bricked up late last year making a total of four pillboxes now made inaccessible.

Even so, I decided to pay a quick visit to them both and was rewarded with an interesting discovery. This corkscrew picket in a nearby stream indicates the presence of a barbed wire perimeter as part of the pillbox's defence.

Only a small find, but it proves that you don't always need to get inside a structure to learn something new about it.

- Pete



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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.


Small anti-tank block in the form of a truncated pyramid. Pimples were used to extend anti-tank obstacles and roadblocks and were intended for use on soft ground.

Type 28 pillbox

A pillbox designed to house a small artillery piece (typically a WW1 6-pounder gun), usually sited to cover a bridge or other defile. Type 28a variant had an additional compartment for infantry defence.

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Hibbs, Peter Bridges at Barcombe Mills (2024) Available at: Accessed: 17 July 2024

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