Posted: 27 August 2013 20:44

I spent the day at Michelham Priory near Hailsham and found some surviving evidence of a nearby roadblock.

The Priory itself was used for various purposes by both British and Canadian troops during the war, which was partly why I decided to visit.

The roadblock was situated on the bridge seen below; the entrance to the Priory grounds is in the background by the red sign.

Just to the left of the sign is what appears at first glance to be a roadblock buoy, but this is one of several modern bollards at the entrance and driveway.

Roadblock Recce (38) Michelham Priory

The roadblock did actually consist of buoys; there were a total of eight listed here in 1941. There were none by the bridge, but I was pleasantly surprised to see some whilst driving towards the car park.

Out of the eight buoys, at least five reside along the driveway to the Priory's gatehouse.

Roadblock Recce (38) Michelham Priory

Following this, I did a quick recce into a car park field to look for some slit trenches that a local had told me were once there. There was also a 2-pounder anti-tank gun beside the bridge, but no obvious evidence of either.

I'm satisfied with finding the buoys, though, so a very quick and productive roadblock search!

- 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.


Slit trench

Small, narrow trench designed to provide protection against shrapnel and other battlefield hazards. Technically distinct from a weapon pit (which was intended soley as a defensive position) slit trenches were also used as defence works.



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Hibbs, Peter Roadblock Recce (38) Michelham Priory (2017) Available at: http://pillbox.org.uk/blog/216733/ Accessed: 22 November 2017

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