Sussex Military Research Projects

Type 24 Pillbox (A38)

Project ID: SMR1034

Location: Blackham, East Sussex

Project date: 2013



Project Overview: Withyham Pillboxes

Part of the GHQ Line of pillboxes runs through Withyham Parish, following the railway line from Uckfield and then the River Medway. The parish council invited us to clear vegetation from, and record a selection of them.

Description: This pillbox does not have an identification number painted on its blast wall, but based on the numbers of the surrounding pillboxes, it is presumed to be A38. The pillbox sits on low ground and is susceptible to flooding up to a metre deep when the River Medway bursts its banks.

The interior was baled out (30cm deep) and cleaned, uncovering some footprints left in the concrete foundation. The exterior was cleaned and the roof cleared of vegetation. A small excavation revealed a foundation thickness of 20cm.

A detailed survey was undertaken, resulting in over 1300 measurements being taken, including shuttering marks and the 'lift lines' denoting each batch of concrete poured. The data was used to create a 3D model. An interesting point of note was a pair of birch tree leaves that had obviously fallen on the wooden shuttering before the concrete was poured. Although the leaves had long since rotted away, their intricate lines had been perfectly preserved in the concrete!

Photograph gallery