North Downs Way Shellproof Type 24 Variant.

FW3/24 at Great Copse, Ranmore Common, Surrey.

Sequence number 86 – NGR TQ125495.

FW3/24 Ranmore Common

Rear three quarter view looking south east. Picture by Tim Denton

Continuing on the North Downs another unusual built pillbox can be found south of Great Copse near Ranmore Common.

This modified type 24 sits at the edge of a very steep forward drop which continues around to its west facing side.

Like the majority of others found along the North Downs Way the defence was built with 51” shell proof front walls, however this is only up to waist level or where the loophole table platform is, above this they are reduced down to 33” to ceiling height.

Plan Ranmore Common Variant

Plan view showing unusual mix of wall dimensions and step down entrance.
Plan copyright Tim Denton 2012

Three of the four embrasures are the large square concrete castings with the thick metal strips giving additional protection, note the loophole opening is obstructed by 50% restricting the depression of weapon as well as vision!. Inside the west facing loop has a raised platform and an embrasure different from the others as it is no more than a basic narrow slot with minimal vision.

To help clear the inside of the pillbox from fumes and smoke there are three small smoke vents, one frontward and on each rear side walls.

The rear wall is only 24” thick and devoid of loopholes, an unusual and perhaps considered extravagant feature is the brick built platform above the entrance steps.

As with the preceding pillbox at Picket Post the internal space is dissected with a short stubby blast wall.

This is the only shell proof defence on the North Downs Way without provision for the mounting or support of machine gun or the Boys AT rifle, all of loophole apertures are finished in the most basic form. As you can see from the pictures time and the weather has taken its toll on the external brick shuttering.

Head on view showing the pillboxes prominent postion at edge of slope.

Head on view showing the pillboxes prominent postion at edge of slope.

Text, Diagram and Pictures by Tim Denton 2013