Posted: 11 October 2008 20:02

On 3 September I went to Barcombe Mills in search of 2 roadblocks. My previous visit had found nothing by the bridge, but the second was new to me as well as a nearby barrel flame trap.

Roadblock recce

The new roadblock was somewhere near a sharp bend in the road beside the Type 24 pillbox in which I conducted my pillbox weapons mountings experiment. Unfortunately, the 6 cylinders and 14 buoys had all gone, probably because of the steep banks on either side of the road that prevent heavy lumps of concrete from being abandoned on the verge.

I also took time to visit the other pillboxes in the area before stopping to try and locate the flame fougasse. The latter's location was not apparent due to heavy vegetation, but once the undergrowth has retreated another visit may prove fruitful.

- Pete



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31 December 2018


Barrel flame trap

Incendiary booby-trap comprising a battery of oil drums dug in and concealed, usually in a roadside bank and detonated remotely as an enemy vehicle passes it. Also known as a flame fougasse.


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.


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.


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.

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 (12) - Barcombe Mills (2020) Available at: Accessed: 26 January 2020

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