Posted: 2 November 2008 22:46

I visited six roadblock sites around Alfriston today, finding 130 buoys, approx. 15 pimples and the only bent RSJ that I know to still be in situ.

I actually visited the village way back in March after I was tipped off by email (thanks Colin!) about the rail. Returning today, the vegetation was denser than previously, so some of these photos are from my previous visit.

The location for a roadblock is somewhat strange; the rail is situated in the middle of a stream between the grounds of a hotel and the raised bank of the Cuckmere River.

Roadblock recce

There are numerous pimples close by, some still in situ, some uprooted.

Roadblock recce

The roadblock report unfortunately doesn't tell us anything about this location other than its location and the fact that it was considered redundant. That the materials aren't listed may indicate that the inspection party couldn't find the block. The location is given as "lane to church", which is confusing as the lane is some way away - perhaps the path was considered an extension of it.

I visited another three sites before heading towards the local recreation ground which is surrounded on three sides by 115 buoys.

Roadblock recce

This is a spurious location though, as only 70 buoys are listed at Alfriston in 1941 and none of the roadblocks were scheduled to receive extra.

15 of the 70 are situated by Long Bridge, just north of the village. The bridge spans the Cuckmere River, which was a stop line, meaning the bridge was to be blocked.

The buoys are actually situated on a track that leads off the crossroads 150m to the east. A point of significance is that although the 30 cylinders are nowhere to be seen, the full complement of 15 buoys is present; the only location I've found so far where the listed amount of any type of material still remains.

Roadblock recce

- Pete



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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.


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.

Stop line

A physical continuous anti-tank barrier, normally a river and/or railway line, often defended by pillboxes. Stop line crossings (roads, railways and bridges) were to be made impassable.

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Hibbs, Peter Roadblock recce (16) - Alfriston (2019) Available at: Accessed: 25 August 2019

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