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HER Number:MDV125708
Name:Boshill Cross Strong Point


One of the nodal strong points on the Second World War Taunton Stop Line which was given extra defences to protect the road crossing over the river at Axe Bridge. A series of anti-tank ditches, obstacles and pillboxes is visible on RAF aerial photos, creating a bridgehead on the east side of the River Axe.


Grid Reference:SY 261 926
Map Sheet:SY29SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxmouth
Civil ParishColyton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCOLYTON
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMOUTH

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Pill boxes, anti-tank ditches and obstacles, World War II at the Boshill Cross Stong Point of the Taunton Stop Line, a defensive crossing on the River Axe

Other References/Statuses

  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STRONGPOINT (Constructed, World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

A series of anti-tank ditches, obstacles and pillboxes is visible on the east side of the River Axe, providing a ring of protection around Axe Bridge.

Vienot, J., 1994, Camouflaged Pill Boxes and Axmouth Bridge (Personal Comment). SDV356840.

A number of the pillboxes were camouflaged. Those around Axe bridge were disguised as haystacks.

Horner, W., 1994, The Taunton Stop Line (Un-published). SDV358963.

The Axe Bridge was of strategic importance and was well protected with pill boxes and other defences. Concrete anti-tank obstacles were placed along the river bank to the north of the bridge, presumably to prevent fording at a shallow point. Some of these have now been put into the river bank south of the bridge to help prevent erosion. A bridgehead, about 0.5 square kilometres, was surrounded by an anti-tank ditch. This is clearly visible on the 1946 aerial photos and would have been about 5.0 metres wide and 2.5 metres deep. At points where a ditch was impractical concrete obstacles completed the circuit. Within the ditch circuit was a concentration of seven pillboxes including an anti-tank machine gun emplacement.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #117586 ]
SDV356840Personal Comment: Vienot, J.. 1994. Camouflaged Pill Boxes and Axmouth Bridge. Not Applicable.
SDV358963Un-published: Horner, W.. 1994. The Taunton Stop Line. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV106495Parent of: Anti-invasion Defensive Barrier to east of Axe Bridge, Axminster (Monument)
MDV52899Parent of: Anti-Tank Cubes circa 152 metres south of Axe Bridge (Monument)
MDV47883Parent of: Anti-Tank Defence to northeast of Axe Bridge (Monument)
MDV80437Parent of: Anti-tank Gun Emplacement South-east of Axe Bridge, Colyton (Monument)
MDV124452Parent of: Anti-Tank Obstacle(s) circa 75 metres north of Boshill Cross, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV124540Parent of: Anti-Tank Obstacle, 300 metres south of Boshill Cross, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV47887Parent of: Anti-Tank Obstacles circa 235 metres north of Axe Bridge, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV124536Parent of: Anti-Tank Obstacles circa 342 metres and 349 metres northeast of Axe Bridge (Monument)
MDV49827Parent of: Anti-Tank Obstacles east of the River Axe (Monument)
MDV47882Parent of: Anti-Tank Obstacles to north of Boxhill Cottages, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV72481Parent of: Anti-Tank Sockets 350 metres south of Boshill Cross, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV39418Parent of: Pillbox at Boshill Cross, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV39357Parent of: Pillbox S.76 circa 190 metres north-northeast of Axe Bridge, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV39359Parent of: Pillbox S.77 180 metres northeast of Axe Bridge (Monument)
MDV72424Parent of: Pillbox S.80 200 metres south of Boshill Cross, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV39358Parent of: Pillbox S.81 circa 252 metres south-southeast of Axe Bridge, Colyton (Monument)
MDV106485Parent of: Pillbox South of Boshill Cross (Monument)
MDV72487Parent of: Roadblock S.Rd.68 at Boshill Cross, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV72488Parent of: Roadblock S.RD.69 on Axe Bridge (Monument)
MDV39361Parent of: Structure 350 metres south of Boshill Cross, Axmouth (Monument)
MDV119535Part of: The Taunton Stop Line (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4929 - Survey of Defensive Structures on the Taunton Stop Line
  • EDV5167 - Survey of Pillboxes in the Axe Valley

Date Last Edited:Jun 7 2019 4:58PM