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Second World War Pillbox West Coast Mainline Wiggington Staffordshire

Underdown, Simon Second World War Pillbox West Coast Mainline Wiggington Staffordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology (OA) has carried out a programme of building recording and
investigation on a WWII anti-invasion defence pillbox situated at the crossing of the
West Coast Mainline Railway and the River Tame at Wiggington near Tamworth
Staffordshire. The work was carried out in advance of demolition of the structure as
part of the improvement of the line between Tamworth and Lichfield. Two new tracks
are being constructed on the site of former tracks which must have been removed before
1940. The pillbox stands on the east side of the present tracks on the site of the removed
line, overlooking the river crossing. Piers of a former bridge which carried the removed
tracks were also being demolished as part of the work. The pillbox was a local variant
and not a standard war office design. The structure was small and rectangular in plan
with a single pitched roof to imitate a platelayers hut in size and shape. The entrance
was in the east side and each elevation contained a gun embrasure which splayed
inwards. There was a central internal anti-richochet wall which divided the firing
positions and left cramped conditions for the defenders. The pillbox core was
constructed of shuttered concrete in stages and small blocks of wood were inset into the
exterior face of the concrete to act as fixing points, presumably for a false shed
structure, now lost, to disguise the true function of the pillbox. Some of these blocks
survived but many had gone leaving the empty mortise like cavities. The strength of the
structure allowed it to be removed in one piece rather than demolished and it is to be
preserved at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Staffordshire
Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2019 12:26
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2019 12:26
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5547

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