Posted: 4 October 2008 23:42

A family outing on 25th August to High Rocks near Tunbridge Wells ended in an impromptu Roadblock Recce at Frant.

High Rocks

High Rocks is just within East Sussex (by about 150m) and consists of a large outcrop of sandstone rocks.

I was surprised to find what appeared to be an air raid shelter built into a crevice in part of the rock formation.

The layout is along the public surface type of shelter, with a protected entrance and emergency exit at the far end, a concrete slab forming the roof with the added protection of the rock. The 'window' has been knocked through the 12-inch brick wall.

Roadblock recce

The journey to and from High Rocks took us through Frant; I knew that a bricked-up Type 24 pillbox survives at Frant Green and so a quick stop was made on the way home to photograph it.

I had a sneaking suspicion that it was sited to cover a roadblock, but I hadn't done any specific research beforehand and took the photo below in the hope that a block was once at this location.

It turns out that there were 6 roadblocks at Frant; the one covered by the pillbox consisted of 13 cylinders, 5 pimples and 23 buoys, none of which have survived.

Roadblock recce

This is nevertheless an interesting location as comparatively few pillboxes covering roadblocks seem to have survived.

I'll need to go back and locate the other roadblock sites, although it's unlikely anything still remains of them.

- Pete

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Buoys

Small concrete roadblock obstacle comprising a truncated cone with domed base. A hollow shaft down the centre allowed the buoy to be manhandled using a crowbar. Buoys were deemed of little value by 1941 and cylinders seen as a better solution.


Cylinders

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.


Pillbox

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.


Pimples

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 24 pillbox

A six-sided (but not a regular hexagon) pillbox. The Type 24 is the most frequently seen pillbox in East Sussex, mostly along stop lines. It can be found in thin wall (30cm) or thick wall (1m) variants.



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Hibbs, Peter Roadblock recce (10) - Frant (2017) Available at: http://pillbox.org.uk/blog/216566/ Accessed: 23 November 2017

The information on this website is intended solely to describe the ongoing research activity of The Defence of East Sussex Project; it is not comprehensive or properly presented. It is therefore NOT suitable as a basis for producing derivative works or surveys!