Project ID: SMR1008
Location: Stone Cross, East Sussex
Project date: 2017
Description: This pillbox was originally scheduled for demolition as part of a new housing development, but was saved as a heritage asset following Grade II listing by Historic England.
The structure was flooded and 1m of water had to be pumped out prior to the survey commencing. Debris was removed and the interior jetwashed to loosen ingrained mud. A detailed survey was then carried out, the data being used to create a 3D model.
An important extant feature was the surviving Turnbull Mounting designed to hold a variety of machine guns. It was established that this individual example was adapted for the Bren light machine gun and despite being rusted solid, it was still possible to mount a Bren gun on it. A lot of data about the Turnbull Mounting was gained from this example and a 3D reconstruction built from a detailed survey. This was important as no known copies of original plans exist to date.
The Turnbull Mounting was cited as one reason for the pillbox meeting the criteria for listing, as no other examples are known to be extant elsewhere in East Sussex. Documentary research revealed that by 1942, Stone Cross was manned by Canadian troops as a sister defensive locality to Pevensey Castle.
SMR designed an interpretation board detailing the history and preservation of the pillbox.