banner advert
  gb flag


 

Like most other locations on the East Coast, defences were constructed at Mount Bures in the event of an invasion by Germany.
The majority of defence works were built to resist invasion chiefly by an army equipped with armour and artillery. In 1940 it was considered the most effective method, was through using defences, that made use of the natural contours of the land.

 
tank traps


Today, little evidence can be seen of this work - this unique structure shows a pillbox and the remains of an anti tank trap alongside the rail line.
This has been manufactured from the local rail track.




These defence structures are listed by Essex County Council on their Heritage Web Site for Mount Bures.
Essex County Council has allocated each site a Monument Record No.

Location
Type
Description

Field SW of Mount Bures level crossing

No 2033

Spigot Mortar Emplacement ,
GUN EMPLACEMENT
(destroyed)

Pill Box

Records state:- Spigot mortar position. Mount Bures, S.E. of road junction. The spigot mortar emplacement was probably sited between the field and a vegetable garden which bordered Hall Road. .

pillbox

 







Pillbox located adjacent to railway line, E of Hall Farm

W side of Railway, N of Janke's Green Railway Bridge

No2034

Pillbox High on the railway embankment, overlooking the deep cutting on its east side, is a brick and concrete hexagonal pillbox. It effectively overhangs the embankment and such are the steep sides that the front faces have been built on top of a brick-built platform which continues the shape of the pillbox down to the ground. Thus these front faces - from the top of the pillbox to the ground - are some 15ft high, while the rear stands on the top of the embankment. Although the rear is in dense hedge and thicket the pillbox appears to be of the same type as that 350 yards to the south with steel surrounds to the loopholes and a central anti-aircraft machine-gun well.

South of Nortons Railway Bridge, Mount Bures

No2025

Pillbox Aerial photographs taken in 1960, 1970 & 1990 show an hexagonal pillbox, with a central anti-aircraft machine-gun well, standing on the west side of the railway on the line of the former WWII anti-tank ditch, approx. 150yds south of Nortons Railway Bridge. Although the site has not been visited, this pillbox can be clearly seen from the train. It stands high on the embankment and is of the same brick-faced, very tall type with steel loophole surrounds

East of Thatchers' Arms, Mount Bures

No 2031

Pillbox pillboxJust a few yards from the railway line, on the east side, is a concrete, hexagonal pillbox. This position is where the anti-tank ditch of the Eastern Command Line 'crossed' from west to east before continuing on its path towards Bures. The pillbox stood between the railway and the ditch. It is an unusual type, 19ft 2in across, 3ft 6in thick, with its entrance on the west face. There are 5 small loopholes measuring 9 x 6 inches flaring out to 16 x 6 inches. But the east loophole, looking out across the former ditch and open fields, is very large 32in wide by 17in high flaring out to 59 x 26 inches. Beneath this, inside the pillbox, is a 6in thick concrete machine-gun table. This spans the complete width of the inner wall, 82in, tapering towards the centre of the pillbox to a width of 36in. Its depth from the wall is 32in. It is not known which type of machine-gun this pillbox was designed to house although the size of the table and its height below the level of the loophole suggests a Vickers heavy machine-gun. At the time of this entry, with over 1,000 WWII sites recorded, this design of pillbox is unique in the county. Coupled with the concrete blocks (SMR 20028) and 'hairpins' (SMR 20030) this trio forms a rare compound site.

W Side of Railway, N of Nortons Railway Bridge

No2027

Pillbox pillboxAerial photographs taken in 1960, 1970 and 1990 show an hexagonal pillbox, with a central anti-aircraft machine-gun well, standing on the west side of the railway on the line of the former WWII anti-tank ditch , approx. 180 yards north of Nortons Railway Bridge. Although the site has not been visited, this pillbox can be clearly seen from the train. It stands high on the embankment and is of the same brick-faced, very tall type with steel loophole surrounds, Contemporary records refer to this pillbox as no. S.63.

Nortons Railway Bridge, Mount Bures

No2026

Road Barrier TANK TRAP
(destroyed)
Records state:- Road Barrier at Nortons Railway Bridge, Mount Bures. The anti-tank ditch ran along the top of the embankment on the W side of the railway line at this point and the road barrier would have maintained the integrity of the anti-tank defences between the ditches to the N and S of the road.

E of Thatcher's Arms, Mount Bures

No 2028

Anti-Tank Blocks, TANK TRAP rail lineBeside the W side of the railway line at this point are eight, 5’ square, concrete blocks in a staggered pattern. This is where the anti-tank ditch of the Eastern Command Line ended on the W side of the railway to continue northwards on the E side. This was necessitated by the changed lie of the railway line S of here it ran in a cutting but N of here it was on a raised embankment. These blocks, coupled with the rare pillbox (No 20031) and hairpins (No 20030) form a compound site of three different defence types, each supporting the others.

E of Thatcher's Arms, Mount Bures

No2029

Railway Barrier

TANK TRAP
(destroyed)

Between the anti-tank blocks on the W side of the railway and the hairpins on the E side is a distance of perhaps 20 yards which would have been bridged by anti-tank obstacles. Across the line itself, moveable obstacles would have maintained the integrity of the defences although it is not known at the present time what form these took. However, an aerial photograph taken in 1949 shows two parallel rows of small white dots smaller than cubes bridging the gap between the railway line and the position of the hairpins. There were perhaps 9 or 10 dots in each row, many close together. It is not known what these were, perhaps pimples although these were usually in a staggered formation or the concrete footings of hedgehog lengths of railway line.

E of Thatcher's Arms, Mount Bures

No 2030

Anti-Tank Hairpins,
TANK TRAP
rail trapJust inside a wide field 15 yards from the E side of the railway line and 7 yards from the pillbox are five anti-tank hairpins lengths of railway line, bent, with each end concreted into the ground. They stand up to 4’4 high with a 5’9 spread, the total area of the site being approx. 12’ x 8’. . These hairpins would have stood at the S end of the anti-tank ditch which stretched northwards to Bures. Anti-tank hairpins are rare survivors in Essex.
Broomfield Cottage, Mount Bures

Anti-Tank Blocks ,

Pillbox

Road Barrier ,

More detailed explanation see below

Broomfield Cottage, Mount Bures

No2036

Anti-Tank Blocks ,

TANK TRAP
(destroyed)

Contemporary records state, Spigot mortar position & concrete cubes. Broomfield Cottage, Mount Bures, Front garden. Broomfield Cottage stands on the N side of the bend in Hall Road, now re-routed some yards further S, but nothing more is known of these blocks.

Field SW of Mount Bures level crossing

No2034

Pillbox
(destroyed)
Contemporary records state, Pillbox & spigot mortar position. O.S. No. 76, arable field S.W. of and adj. railway crossing. Map dated 1961 shows a hexagonal shape in the NW corner of this field on the S side of the road. An aerial photograph taken in 1949 shows the pillbox indistinctly possibly an FW3/22 with its entrance on the NW face. Between 1960 and 1970 the bend in the road W of the level crossing was slightly straightened and the site of the pillbox is probably now in the roadway.

Near level crossing, Mount Bures

No2037

Road Barrier , TANK TRAP
(destroyed)
Contemporary records state, Road Barrier. Near Level Crossing, Mount Bures. This map reference is clearly incorrect and no further information is known of this road barrier. There would appear to be three possibilities. The anti-tank ditch passed from S to N along the E side of the railway, crossing Old Barn Road and Hall Road a few yards to the E of the pillbox.. This entry could refer to a road barrier at either of these points. Or, combined with the concrete cubes at Broomfield Cottage there could have been a road barrier some 70 yards W of the level crossing although this seems a lot less of a possibility.

Broomfield Cottage, Mount Bures

No2035

Spigot Mortar Emplacement

GUN EMPLACEMENT
(destroyed

Contemporary records state, Spigot mortar position & concrete cubes. Front garden. Broomfield Cottage stands on the N side of the bend in Hall Road, now re-routed some yards further S, but nothing more is known of this emplacement.

spigot mortar

Example of Gun Emplacement, some were below ground as shown, others were at ground level protected by concrete re-inforced walls.


B & W pic courtesy of www.pillboxesuk.co.uk

Courtesy of Essex CC Heritage Site, Oct 2003