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HER Number:MDV48167
Name:Pillbox T125, Morton Way, Axminster


Polygonal pillbox visible in allotments on 1948 Royal Air Force aerial photograph, to west of anti-tank ditch. The pillbox was added to the Taunton Stop Line defences in late 1940-early 1941 as part of the ring of defences around Axminster, forming an anti-tank island. It is now preserved within a new housing development with a nearby interpretation panel


Grid Reference:SY 297 978
Map Sheet:SY29NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY29NE/275

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PILLBOX (Built, World War II - 1940 AD to 1941 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Engineers, 1940, Plans of Taunton Stop Line (Cartographic). SDV325259.

There is no reference to a pillbox here on the Royal Engineer's plan, the pillbox may be a later addition to the Taunton stop-line defences. Other details: Axminster Union & RD.

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2431/3200 (Aerial Photograph). SDV132197.

Polygonal pillbox visible in allotments on RAF 1948 aerial photograph. Probably type FW3/24. Covers anti-tank ditch to east.

Ordnance Survey, 1967, SY2997 (Cartographic). SDV132677.

Six-sided building recorded on Ordnance Survey 1:2500 plan.

Wills, H., 1985, Pillboxes. A Study of UK Defences 1940, 74 (Monograph). SDV336210.

Wills lists polygonal east-facing pillbox of mixed construction at SY298979. Possibly the same site as one listed at SY298980.

Exeter Archaeology, 2008, Archaeological Assessment of Land off Duke's Way, Axminster, Devon, 4-5 (Report - Assessment). SDV342566.

During the site visit it could be seen that the general condition of the pillbox is fairly good and the internal walls retain some 1940s yellow paintwork. Other details: Site 3, figure 7; Plates 1-3.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

South West Airfields Heritage Trust, 2020, Pillbox T125 (Ground Photograph). SDV363941.

Pillbox T125, one of ten new pillboxes added to the Taunton Stop Line in late 1940-early 1941. Together with the existing pillboxes, anti-tank island and road blocks, these provided Axminster with all-round defences, turning the town into an anti-tank island.
It is a Type FW3/24, designed for up to 5 light machine guns with 2 rifle loopholes at the rear. It is a typical 1940s pillbox with 42 inch thick reinforced concrete walls and a 12 inch thick concrete roof.
The pillbox is now preserved within a new housing development with a nearby interpretation panel.
The stone in which the panel is set and its plinth are of interest in themselves, coming from the quarries that provided stone for the cenotaph in London and St Paul's Cathedral respectively.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV132197Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2431/3200. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown.
SDV132677Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1967. SY2997. Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map. Unknown.
SDV325259Cartographic: Royal Engineers. 1940. Plans of Taunton Stop Line. Royal Engineers Survey Plan circa July 1940. Unknown.
SDV336210Monograph: Wills, H.. 1985. Pillboxes. A Study of UK Defences 1940. Pillboxes. Hardback Volume. 74.
SDV342566Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2008. Archaeological Assessment of Land off Duke's Way, Axminster, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 08.24. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4-5.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #93121 ]
SDV363941Ground Photograph: South West Airfields Heritage Trust. 2020. Pillbox T125. Digital.
Linked images:1

Associated Monuments

MDV45243Part of: Axminster Strong Point on the Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV119535Part of: The Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV48159Related to: Anti-Tank Ditch around south-east side of Axminster (Monument)
MDV75607Related to: Latrine Pit in Old Allotments, south of Morton Way, Axminster (Monument)
MDV52908Related to: Possible Pillbox, Foxhill, Axminster (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4523 - Archaeological Assessment of Land off Duke's Way, Axminster, Devon

Date Last Edited:Nov 6 2020 11:18AM