Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Axe Valley WW2 Defences - Taunton Stop Line (Part Three), Devon

Following on from Part Two, and continuing across the A3025 road near to the Axe Bridge, is this totally delightful Type 22 with block shuttering. This is probably my favourite pillbox to date as it was the very first one that I was able to go inside...and at the risk of sounding a bit girly, it's just so incredibly adorable!

I've visited this one several times and during one summer there were Swallows nesting inside, flitting in and out to feed their young. Interior below.

The next one along is a Type 24, also with block shuttering, situated in the field beyond. Access wasn't possible due to a fence and stream alongside it. However, the subsequent pillboxes along that route will have to be approached from the other side, and if I manage to start up my pillbox hunt again I may be able to look inside then.

Part three only contains tiny bits of this section so far as it covers a large area and there are a fair few to visit, but I thought I'd make a start and add to it when able. If I can add further visits then I'll split it into two parts, but for now this section includes the first two pillboxes at the beginning, two at Whitford and one at Axminster. Anyone who's ever been pillbox exploring will know how arduous and time-consuming it can be. Having disabilities and unable to walk as far as I used to, plus not being able to drive, makes this section too difficult for me to attempt. But I'll do my best!

The next section I visited were the two just outside the village of Whitford, below.

A Type 22 with an added concrete blast wall ante-room. Very overgrown, it was totally dark inside and impossible to get any interior photos, apart from the blast area.

The next one along in Whitford is another T24, also with an added blast wall ante-room.

I visited these during early 2010, just after major flooding. There were extra streams running around this pillbox, almost creating an island, and the interior was full of mud, much of which was also splashed up on the walls. As is often the case, I went home dragging half a field with me! 

The interior (above) was very dark and forbidding. Pillboxes aren't something  that worries me when exploring, but I actually felt a bit spooked in this one. Below is the view from it, with the river in full spate.

Visited in 2008, the next one is the final one of this section so far. Depending on how much I can find and access, this might get moved to a fourth part, but I'll leave it here for now and reorganise as and when necessary.

Another 6pdr Anti-Tank emplacement, situated near to the bridge just west of Axminster, where there is also an Anti-Tank Block. The block can be seen through the emplacement in the photo above.

Somewhat different weather when I visited this one!

Below is this funky looking bridge over a path leading to a track across the railway line. I have no idea if it's anything to do with the defences, but I really like it, so included it here. Nearby was a large concrete block, which may have been another Anti-Tank block. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of it, but will hopefully be returning to explore other pillboxes in the area, so I'll check it out properly then.

 

More photos can be viewed in the Photo Gallery album, which I'll be adding to as and when. To have another look at Part One you can zoom back to it here, and Part Two can be found here.

 

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