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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 957615

Hob Uid: 957615
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Porlock
Grid Ref : SS8640048054
Summary : A Second World War type 24 pillbox located on the beach at The Quay, Porlock Weir. The pillbox was constructed in 1940-41. A field survey in 1994 found it to be polygonal (roughly D-shaped) in plan, measuring 6 metres northwest/southeast by 5.3 metres and from 1.3 metres to 2.2 metres high, with a flat concrete roof. Its outer face has large beach pebbles most of which have fallen off revealing its basic construction of breeze blocks and concrete. The entrance (0.75 metres wide and 2.2 metres high) is in the inland southwest side and is now blocked by a modern wooden door. There are five peripheral splayed loopholes flanking the entrance. The pillbox appears to be in use as a storehouse and when visited the door was locked so the interior details were not seen. The pillbox, visible as a structure, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1941 and 1946 and was disguised in 1941 with the addition of a rectangular pitched roof which was still in place in 1960, although was no longer visible in 1972. The structure was still extant in 2005.
More information : SS 86401 48050. The remains of a World War II strong post or 'pillbox' set in the top of the massive pebble ridge skirting Porlock Beach about 9m above OD and 100m W of Porlock Weir quay. It has clear views of Porlock Bay and the Bristol Channel from Hurlstone Point in the E to The Gore in the W.

The pillbox is polygonal (roughly D-shaped) in plan, 6.0m NW/SE by 5.3m and from 1.3m to 2.2m high, with a flat concrete roof. Its outer face has large beach pebbles most of which have fallen off revealing its basic construction of breeze blocks and concrete. The entrance (0.75m wide, 2.2m high) is in the inland SW side and is now blocked by a modern wooden door. There are five peripheral splayed loopholes flanking the entrance. The pillbox appears to be in use as a storehouse and when visited the door was locked so the interior details were not seen however it appears to be of typical Type 24 construction.

The design of this pillbox is based on the FW 3 Type 24 which was suitable for a garrison of 8 or 9 men and a maximum of 5 anti-tank/light machine guns and 2 rifles (a). Its construction appears almost identical to the other four pillboxes (SS 84 NE 44, 45, 46 and 49) situated around Porlock Bay which suggests they were all built to design plan (FW 3/24) by the same contractor.

Note: The desing of pillboxes was the responsibility of FW3, a branch of the Directorate of Fortifications and Works at the War Office (a).

Resurveyed at 1:2500. (1)

Standard type 24 pillbox, camouflaged with pebbles, situated on beach with field of fire seawards. No access to interior. Now sealed with door and with pipe vent through rear embrasure [used to smoke fish?].
LOCATION: The Quay, Porlock Weir. (2)

SS 8639 4805 A Second World War type 24 pillbox, visible as a structure, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1941 and 1946. Located on the shingle strand facing the sea about 90 metres NW of the end of Porlock Weir quay, the concrete pillbox is a slightly irregular hexagon about 6 metres at its widest point, with one wall longer than the other five. The pillbox's function was disguised in 1941 with the addition of a false 6 x 5 metre rectangular pitched roof, the ridge aligned NW-SE, which was still in place in 1960 but was no longer visible in 1972. The structure was still extant in 2005. (3-7)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury I S, 22-NOV-94, RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 1a
Source : Pillboxes: a study of UK defences 1940
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Page(s) : 15
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Source Number : 2
Source : Migrated Defence of Britain Project database record originally compiled from various sources
Source details : The two databases developed by the Project can be searched on-line through the Archaeology Data Service at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/index.cfm
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Source Number : 3
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 8647/9 (MSO31206/018) 27-JUN-1941
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1655 4021 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 541/544 3018 01-JUN-1960
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Source Number : 6
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/72065 099 15-APR-1972
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Source Number : 7
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 8647/25 (24028/01) 09-AUG-2005
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Constructed 1940-41
Monument End Date : 1941
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Pillbox (Type FW3/24)
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : S0006557
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 35352
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 NE 48
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 84 NE 48
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1994-11-22
End Date : 1994-11-22
Associated Activities : Primary, THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-01
Associated Activities : Primary, GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL: SEVERN ESTUARY NMP, RAPID COASTAL ZONE ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2006-04-10
End Date : 2008-11-01