MSO12289 - Second World War pillbox, Vale House, Roadwater (Monument)


An inland pillbox with a replica wooden roof.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

An inland defence pillbox survives in good condition. [1] The wooden roof was to disguise the pillbox as a summerhouse; the top part of it was removed when phone cables were put through. A gate across the road to the south of the pillbox was manned by the home guard [2]. A photograph of the pillbox taken in 1978 shows that the wooden roof was originally covered with shingles, and there was a mock window in the east side. [3] A World War Two pillbox lies in the garden of Vale House, Roadwater, at ST 0281 3801. The building is 5-sided, to fit into a restricted space, with the road to one side and a steep slope to the other. It is constructed of breeze blocks with brick shuttering. The door is on the west side; a small loop hole lies by the door way. There are 4 full sized embrasures (0.6 by 0.2 metres), all still with their original metal shutters. The interior detail survives, with full length concrete shelves in front of all the embrasures. The roof is of concrete. The structure has a further, wooden, pitched roof. Although the structure is in good repair, most of it is smothered with ivy and the wooden roof is in poor condition. [4] The site was photographed by RCHME in 1999. [5] The pitched roof still survives in position and although there is vegetation growing on it, it appears to be in good condition. [6] In view of the importance of the surviving wooden roof the pillbox was selected for scheduling. However, following prenotification of this, the roof has been removed. [7] ST 0279 3800. World War Two infantry pillbox in the garden of Vale House. Monument scheduled on 24 July 2002. [8] The pillbox is shuttered with concrete blocks inside and red brick outside. The walls are 24 inches thick and it has a concrete flat roof. There is no internal blast wall. It has steel-framed steel shutters on the gun ports, and the one on the door side is 7 inches wide x 12 inches high. The door is on the approx northwest side. It is in a fair condition, but some of the outer bricks are missing due to plant damage, and it has some plant growth on it. [9] A replica roof has been placed on the pillbox. [10] The lead from the replica roof (used for waterproofing) was stolen in 2008 and the decision was made to replace it with grey fibreglass which has the same apperance but not the commerical value of lead. This work was undertaken in October 2008. [11] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 3. [12] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [14] Pillbox disguised as garden building, with embrasures facing Roadwater. with site location PLAN. This pillbox survives in good condition. It was originally disguised [camouflage] as a small building with a pitched shingle roof and painted windows. The pitched roof still survives in position. LOCATION: Entrance of Vale House, Roadwater. [15] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [16]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Unassigned: Hellis, J.. March 1994. Fortress Study Group. Ref JH.00291.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Owner of Vale House, 1998.
  • <3> Unassigned: Court, C. 1995. A Somerset Village in wartime. photo and caption p19.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
  • <5> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberts, M.. 1999. Job: PILLBOX. Unknown. Unknown. Negative.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, 27 November 2000.
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. J Salvatore, English Heritage, 21 June 2002.
  • <8> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 5/8/2002. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <9> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Site visit, C Perry, and J England, 3 June 2006.
  • <10> Serial: Roe, C. 1/12/2006. Makeover for rustic war relic. Western Daily Press. 24.
  • <11> Report: Exmoor National Park Authority. 2009. Monument Management Scheme: 2008-9 Report. P. 4.
  • <12> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <13> Report: Wilson-North, R. + Cowley, J.. 2004. Exmoor National Park Monument Management Scheme 2003-4.
  • <14> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <15> Digital archive: Council for British Archaeology. 2002. Defence of Britain. DEB01.
  • <16> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1419050, Updated 30 May 2022.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • DoB Anti Invasion Database UID: S0003055
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NW81
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NBR Index Number: 99/01506
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1419050
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35368



Grid reference Centred ST 0281 3801 (7m by 6m)
Map sheet ST03NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

May 30 2022 9:47PM


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