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HER Number:MDV48168
Name:Pillbox S.40 to south of Ashbrook, west of Willhays Lane, Axminster


Pillbox S.40 visible as a flat-roofed, six-sided structure on 1940s aerial photographs, adjacent to the railway near Willhay Lane on the north-east side of Axminster. It was part of the Second World War Taunton Stop Line constructed in 1940. The area has since been developed for housing.


Grid Reference:SY 299 992
Map Sheet:SY29NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY29NE/276

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Engineers, 1940, Plans of Taunton Stop Line, Axminster Union & RD (Cartographic). SDV325259.

Pillbox marked on Royal Engineer's plan as S.40.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974, RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FP 1424-1425 11-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356127.

A flat-roofed six-sided structure is visible.

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

Pillbox visible on 1948 Royal Air Force aerial photograph on east side of railway line. Appears to be type FW3/24. Covers fields and River Axe to west.

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

Polygonal west facing pillbox of mixed construction.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2016-2018, The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV359463.

A small six-sided flat-roofed structure, up to 8 metres across, is visible on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s. It is in the same location as a pillbox of mixed construction marked on a Roya Engineer’s Plan for the Taunton Stop Line in 1940 previously recorded by various other sources.
The 1940s RAF print held by Historic England has been recorded here as an additional source because there is a possibility that the print may have been processed differently to those held by Devon County Council. This would potentially result in an image on which archaeological features show slightly differently.
The structure is not visible on later available aerial photographs, and the area has been developed.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV132197Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2431/3200. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown.
SDV325259Cartographic: Royal Engineers. 1940. Plans of Taunton Stop Line. Royal Engineers Survey Plan circa July 1940. Unknown. Axminster Union & RD.
SDV336210Monograph: Wills, H.. 1985. Pillboxes. A Study of UK Defences 1940. Pillboxes. Hardback Volume. 74.
SDV356127Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FP 1424-1425 11-APR-1947. [Mapped feature: #93122 ]
SDV359463Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2016-2018. The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. Historic England Research Report. Digital.
Linked documents:2

Associated Monuments

MDV45243Part of: Axminster Strong Point on the Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV119535Part of: The Taunton Stop Line (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7508 - The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme (NMP) project (Ref: ACD1228)

Date Last Edited:Oct 11 2019 4:28PM