Sussex Military Research Projects

Rye Harbour pillbox

Project ID: SMR1007

Location: Rye Harbour, East Sussex

Project date: 2018



Description: A team of volunteers from Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Sussex Military History Society spent a rainy November day cleaning out a pillbox at the mouth of the River Rother.

The team spent the day removing several tons of sand and shingle that had built up about 15cm deep over the years. The removed spoil was seived thoroughly and some artefacts were recovered, including part of a spanner and what may be the handle from an ammunition box.

The pillbox was built in 1940 to house two Vickers machine guns and example of one was set up in order to appreciate the design and location of the pillbox.

The interest from passers-by was such that it was later decided to hold an open day in the pillbox in the summer. The pillbox became a museum for the day, with an exhibition and artefacts detailing the wartime history of the area. The event was very popular, attracting over 180 visitors!

Photograph gallery