MSO8055 - World War Two pillbox on Bossington Beach (Monument)


The remains of a Second World War Type 24 pillbox overlooking Bossington Beach, of polygonal shape with five machine-gun loopholes. It has been encroached on by vegetation and its condition is deteriorating.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 89297 48308. The remains of a Second World War strong post or 'pillbox' situated about 5 metres above Ordnance Datum in the northwest internal angle of a ploughed field. Polygonal, roughly D shaped, in plan it measures about 5.5 metres maximum across and 2 metres high and is constructed from breeze blocks, beach cobbles and reinforced concrete. The top is covered with turf and scrub. The entrance, now sealed by concrete blocks, is approached through the hedge from the north-northwest. There are six peripheral loopholes, each internally 0.4 metres wide 0.25 metres high and externally 0.9 metres wide and 0.25 metres high, the southern one is blocked up. The interior is not accessible but it appears to be intact. The design of this pillbox is based on the FW 3 Type 24 which was suitable for a maximum of 5 light machine guns and 2 rifles and a garrison of 8 or 9 men [1]. Apart from slight differences in overall dimensions, it appears almost identical to the other four pillboxes (MSO8053, MSO8054, MSO7931 and MSO7932) situated around Porlock Bay which suggests they were all built to design plan (FW 3/24) by the same contractor. It is situated 155 metres southeast of pillbox MSO8053 and 245 metres due east of pillbox MSO8054 and may have been placed so as to provide protection for their entrances and rear sides and against attack from around the southern arc. The pillbox, encroached on by vegetation from the hedges on its north and west sides, is deteriorating and its walls crumbling to expose part of the foundations. Note: The design of pillboxes was the responsibility of FW3, a branch of the Directorate of Fortifications and Works at the War Office [1]. Published Survey 1:2500 correct. [2-3] A beach defence pillbox survives in good condition. [6] Could not be located in 2002. [7] Pillbox, of concrete and earth, which is very overgrown. Door is on the hedge side. Approx. 6 feet high and approx. 12 feet diameter. There appear to be 6 embrasures. Much of the earth has fallen away, leaving the pillbox a strange shape. Possible metal lining to roof. Type 24 pillbox, camouflaged with pebbles. Situated at edge of beach with field of fire seawards (N). Brick shuttered interior. Concrete base eroded. LOCATION: Bossington Beach, Porlock Bay. [8] SS 8929 4831 A Second World War type 24 pillbox, visible as a structure, was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1941 and 1946. Located on a boundary in the corner of a field overlooking Bossington Beach NW of Lower House Farm and 170 metres E of the disused lime kiln on the beach, the concrete pillbox, 6.8 metres at its widest point, is a slightly irregular hexagon with one wall longer than the other five. The structure was still visible in 1979. [9-12] The pill box was photographed by the RCHME in 1996. [13] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [14]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Monograph: Wills, H.. 1985. Pillboxes: a study of UK defences 1940 . Leo Cooper (in association with Secker and Warburg). 30.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1973. 1:2500 Sheet SS 8948.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 22 November 1994.
  • <4> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1995. Porlock Bay and Marsh: A Rapid Preliminary Assessment of the Cultural and Palaeoenvironmental Resource. P. 17.
  • <5> Monograph: Corner, Dennis. 1992. Porlock in Those Days. Exmoor Books. P. 73.
  • <6> Unassigned: Hellis, J.. March 1994. Fortress Study Group. Ref JH.00132.
  • <7> 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.
  • <8> Digital archive: Council for British Archaeology. 2002. Defence of Britain. DEB01.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8948/5 (MSO31206/004) (27 June 1941).
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4015 (11 July 1946).
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79012 016-017 (17 April 1979).
  • <12> Archive: Crowther, S., Dickson, A. and Truscoe, K.. 2007. Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 84 NE. MD000130.
  • <13> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberth, M.. 1996. Job: Lime Kilms And Pill Boxes [sic]. Colour. Negative.
  • <14> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 957594, Extant 8 February 2022.

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Coastal Risk 2014: Flood Zone 2 tidal
  • Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 2 tidal
  • Defence of Britain Database UID: S0001783
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO367
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12287
  • Local List Status (Require info)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE46
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA165234
  • NBR Index Number: 96/01629
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 957594
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35356



Grid reference Centred SS 8929 4830 (6m by 5m)
Map sheet SS84NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Feb 8 2022 1:37PM


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