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HER Number:MDV24546
Name:Pillbox S.51a to northwest of Lower Abbey Farm, Axminster


One of two pillboxes in a field to the east of the railway. A large infantry-type pillbox of breeze block construction. West facing. Part of the Axminster fortified area on the Second World War Taunton Stop Line constructed in 1940.


Grid Reference:SY 289 975
Map Sheet:SY29NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY29NE/71

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PILLBOX (Built, World War II - 1940 AD to 1940 AD)

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2431/3199 (Aerial Photograph). SDV109622.

Pillbox visible on 1948 RAF aerial photo.

Weddell, P. J., 1985, Axminster By-pass (Worksheet). SDV117287.

Site visit 28th January 1985. One of two in field east of railway; six-sided shape, seven windows, concrete and breeze blocks. More details on worksheet.

Horner, B., 1985, Axminster Pillboxes (Ground Photograph). SDV117201.

Wills, H., 1985, Wills, H. 1985 Pillboxes, 74 (Monograph). SDV336210.

Visit listed by Wills at SY289975 and described as polygonal, of mixed construction and west facing.

Hawkins, M., 1988, Somerset at War 1939-1945, 97 (Monograph). SDV115272.

Hellis, J., 1990, List of Defensive Sites (Un-published). SDV99101.

Pillbox of Type 28.

Adkins, L. + Adkins, R., 1992, Pillboxes, Taunton Stop Line (Correspondence). SDV356784.

Correctly placed to be part of the Taunton Stop Line.

Hellis, J., 1992, The Taunton Stop Line, 43 (Article in Serial). SDV130111.

Horner, B., 1993, Axminster Fortified Area (Ground Photograph). SDV117210.

Horner, B., 1993, Axminster Pillboxes (Ground Photograph). SDV117206.

Horner, W., 1993, Pillboxes in Axminster (Personal Comment). SDV356785.

Site visited on 13th October 1993. Pill box still intact. A35 Axminster by-pass runs to south of site.

Horner, W., 1994, Taunton Stop Line Survey (Personal Comment). SDV356786.

Site visited on 22nd December 1993. Viewed closer up. Large infantry-type pillbox of breeze block construction. Weathering badly. Interior flooded. Faces west.

Mear, K., 1996, Pillbox, Lower Abbey Farm (Worksheet). SDV325682.

Could be common or standard Pillbox Type 22? Six sided.

Dobinson, C. S., 1998, The Taunton Stop Line. Component Listing, 4 (Report - non-specific). SDV109230.

Pillbox of type FW3/22 with 3ft 6in walls.

Hollinrake, C. + Hollinrake, N., 2001, An Archaeological and Historical Desk Top Study of Land at Musbury Road, Axminster, 16, 27, Fig. 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV320907.

During a survey prior to development in 2001 the pillbox was found to have most of the concrete outer casing destroyed with an entrance to the east. Other openings consist of small slits set into the present ground level.

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site No. 1145 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

One of two pillboxes in field to east of railway line. Part of Taunton Stop Line.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV109230Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 1998. The Taunton Stop Line. Component Listing. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. AI/S/3. Photocopy. 4.
SDV109622Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2431/3199. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV115272Monograph: Hawkins, M.. 1988. Somerset at War 1939-1945. Somerset at War 1939-1945. 97.
SDV117201Ground Photograph: Horner, B.. 1985. Axminster Pillboxes. Slide.
SDV117206Ground Photograph: Horner, B.. 1993. Axminster Pillboxes. Slide.
SDV117210Ground Photograph: Horner, B.. 1993. Axminster Fortified Area. Slide.
SDV117287Worksheet: Weddell, P. J.. 1985. Axminster By-pass. Worksheet.
SDV130111Article in Serial: Hellis, J.. 1992. The Taunton Stop Line. Fortress. 14. Unknown. 43.
SDV320907Report - Assessment: Hollinrake, C. + Hollinrake, N.. 2001. An Archaeological and Historical Desk Top Study of Land at Musbury Road, Axminster. Hollinrake Report. 230. A4 Stapled + Digital. 16, 27, Fig. 6.
SDV325682Worksheet: Mear, K.. 1996. Pillbox, Lower Abbey Farm. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV336210Monograph: Wills, H.. 1985. Wills, H. 1985 Pillboxes. Pillboxes. Unknown. 74.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 1145.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #84699 ]
SDV356784Correspondence: Adkins, L. + Adkins, R.. 1992. Pillboxes, Taunton Stop Line. Letter + Map. Unknown.
SDV356785Personal Comment: Horner, W.. 1993. Pillboxes in Axminster. Not Applicable.
SDV356786Personal Comment: Horner, W.. 1994. Taunton Stop Line Survey. Not Applicable.
SDV99101Un-published: Hellis, J.. 1990. List of Defensive Sites. Manuscript.

Associated Monuments

MDV45243Part of: Axminster Strong Point on the Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV119535Part of: Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV24545Related to: Pillbox SV.8 to northwest of Lower Abbey Farm, Axminster (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 26 2018 3:34PM