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Pillbox

A Grade II Listed Building in Market Drayton, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9076 / 52°54'27"N

Longitude: -2.4715 / 2°28'17"W

OS Eastings: 368382

OS Northings: 334565

OS Grid: SJ683345

Mapcode National: GBR 7W.NS5P

Mapcode Global: WH9C4.05CT

Entry Name: Pillbox

Listing Date: 4 March 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393697

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507696

Location: Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Market Drayton

Built-Up Area: Market Drayton

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Market Drayton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Market Drayton

Listing Text

MARKET DRAYTON

1573/0/10018 NEWCASTLE ROAD
04-MAR-10 (South side)
Pillbox

II
Type 24 pillbox of 1940.

MATERIALS: Reinforced concrete with timber battens to former shelving.

PLAN: An irregular hexagon standing on a square plinth.

EXTERIOR: The pillbox has plain grey concrete walls and concrete roof. Five of the walls have single openings, or embrasures. A wider wall, facing west, has rifle loopholes placed either side of a central doorway. The pillbox is set in a square concrete plinth, which stands in a grass embankment.

INTERIOR: There is a concrete, T-shaped, anti-ricochet wall and two timber battens attached to the outer wall. There is some modern graffiti.

HISTORY: The earliest examples of pillboxes date from the First World War, although this example, along with many thousands of others, was constructed as part of a national defence programme in response to the threat of German invasion in 1940. The programme involved strengthening coastal defences (batteries, mines and barbed wire), and constructing defensive lines, or 'stop lines', stretching inland in order to slow down the progress of an invading force. During the Second World War, pillboxes were built along the stop lines and at nodal points, such as towns and villages, military bases and munitions factories. Twelve basic designs were approved by the War Office, although these were often varied to accommodate local considerations. The pillbox at Market Drayton stands on the former Western Command Stop Line No.8, which was constructed in 1940 between Shrewsbury and Newport and on to Nantwich. It is a variant of the Type 24 pillbox which was designed for a garrison of eight and, from its raised height on top of a concrete plinth, monitored movements along both the Newcastle Road and Shropshire Union Canal. Due to the inflexibility of their design and high cost compared to dug fieldworks, the deployment of pillboxes came under scrutiny in 1941 and the Home Office issued orders to stop building them in February 1942.


REASONS FOR DESIGNATION

The pillbox at Newcastle Road, Market Drayton is recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: The pillbox is a rare example of a Type 24 pillbox constructed to a two-storey height, incorporating a concrete plinth. There are no other known examples.
* Intactness: The pillbox with plinth is mainly unaltered and complete, and its original use is plainly legible.
* Representative Value: The pillbox illustrates a key point on a former stop line, providing a screened position capable of defending both road and canal, and forming a group with the canal bridge.

SOURCES
The Defence of Britain Database, Council for British Archaeology, 2006.
[Retrieved on 20/01/2010 from:
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/ai_r.cfm?]
Dobinson C.S, Twentieth Century Fortifications in England, Vol. II, Anti-invasion defences of WWII (1996), 157-167.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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