MSO7982 - World War Two pillbox at Porlock Weir (Monument)


The remains of a pillbox overlooking Porlock Weir are visible as an octagonal concrete base.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A pillbox at Porlock Weir that is recorded from documentary sources postcards show the pillbox located just to seaward of the lock gates. It had now been destroyed. [1] The foundations of this pillbox can still be seen on the seaward side of the lock gates on the quay at Porlock Weir, at SS 8641 4797. The remains comprise an 8-sided concrete base, measuring 7.3 by 7.3 metres. This formed part of a triangle of pillboxes at Porlock Weir with MSO7931 and MSO7932. [2] SS 8641 4796 A Second World War Vickers machine gun pillbox, visible as a structure, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1941 and 1946. Located on the quay on the seaward (north) side of Porlock Weir lock, the structure was an irregular octagon about 7 by 7.4 metres, four long edges forming the sides and four short edges forming the corners. The size of the pillbox suggests this was a type 28 pillbox, designed to contain a 2 pounder gun and crew, but it may have been a Vickers machine gun post. The pillbox's function was disguised in 1941 with the addition of a false subrectangular pitched single apex roof, constructed from what appears to be corrugated iron sheeting. The pillbox with false roof was still extant in 1960 but not in 1970, the structure having been destroyed with just the concrete foundation slab visible. [3-8] The pillbox appears similar to others on the beach with stone facings and a pointed (?) corrugated-iron roof. [9] In 2002 only the concrete base was located. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Unassigned: Hellis, J. 1992. The Taunton Stop Line. pp 39-47.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8647/9 (MSO31206/018) (27 June 1941).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4021 (11 July 1946).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 541/544 3018 (1 June 1960).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70064 042043 (3 May 1970).
  • <7> Website: 2011. Pillbox Study Group Website. Type 28 Pillbox.
  • <8> Archive: Crowther, S., Dickson, A. and Truscoe, K.. 2007. Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 84 NE. MD000130.
  • <9> Monograph: Gilman, J. 1999. Exmoor's Maritime History. 47. Fig. 51 1956 photo.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Dawson T. 2002. How effective is archaeological fieldwork in identifying different building types of the WW2 defensive installations along the North Somerset coast between Porlock Weir and Watchet. Unpublished A level report.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1158190, Extant 14 February 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Coastal Risk 2014: Flood Zone 3 tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 2 tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 3 tidal
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO1109
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12313
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE75
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1158190
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (20-50)
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 35462



Grid reference Centred SS 8641 4796 (8m by 8m)
Map sheet SS84NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Feb 14 2022 9:39PM


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