Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Coastal Defences, Branscombe, Devon

I can't be a hundred per cent certain on this, but I do believe that the concrete blocks used here as car-parking barriers were once originally anti-tank blocks. The concrete is certainly old enough to be of WW2 origin and it also fits in with a sighting seen on the Defence of Britain Data-base.  These type of blocks with either a truncated or fully pointed pyramid shape are also known as 'Dragon's Teeth'. The ones that I photographed are directly on the sea front, but there are also others in the car park.

Adjacent to the sea and half way up a fairly steep cliff path sits one of the two pillboxes still remaining in Branscombe. Unfortunately, I couldn't locate the other one, therefore it may either have been demolished, or the Defence of Britain Data-base sighting was incorrectly placed...although I did have a good look around as far as I had time for. I found this type difficult to place as it doesn't seem to fit the main types. It may either be a variant or some of the embrasures have been bricked up or just hidden by the banked earth. The nearest in shape is a Type 23, but it doesn't have the open-air gun position.

The building on top of the hill behind the pillbox was once a row of coastguard cottages. Now a private residence.

I have heard recently that WW2 signage can still be seen inside this emplacement. Unfortunately the field was full of cattle and I was reluctant to scramble over the fence to find out...especially as one of the cows appeared to be guarding the entrance! 

The photo below was taken looking from inland across the valley and towards the sea. The building to the right of centre is the erstwhile coastguard cottages with the pillbox situated just below.

A few more photos along with these can also be seen in the Photo Gallery.

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