Barkham Rectangular Variant

Barkham  Rectangular Variant

Located on the B3349 near Wokingham/Aborfield. NGR: SU777668

Please note this pillbox is on private land and permission is required to view.

The rectangular bullet proof  variant design  can be found close to the road covering a small bridge near Barkham on the B3349  Wokingham to Arborfield Road in Berkshire.

It once formed part of the outer defence perimeter for the nearby army garrison at Arborfield camp, during WW2 this was a main REME garrison. I  discovered that an old family friend (deceased) was one of a small team of men who were employed by the army in its construction during the early war years, he was a labourer for the local Wokingham District Council and one of a small group who were drafted in to work on the local defence projects.

The rectangular brick shuttered pillbox features unusual cast twin embrasures that face north covering the approach to the bridge.

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Single loopholes can be seen on the both ends, and on the rear .

The low step down central back entrance is now bricked up and filled in so entry is impossible. A  small low brick sided trench sheltered the entrance with a loophole above, internally the pillbox is flooded.

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Three more of this design survive in the area, another was demolished during  road widening in the mid 1980s.

With the closure of the REME and house building on Arborfield Garrison this is the most visible and well known reminder of the WW2 period in this area, the future of this defence may be in question should the road and bridge be altered to help with the inevitable increase in traffic.

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By Tim Denton.

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Defence Structures and sites of all types both above and below ground can be very dangerous. Serious injury or even death can arise from unauthorised entry into such sites and structures. Join a responsible club, group or society who can arrange official visits. The Pillbox Study Group accepts no responsibility for any damages or injuries caused by ignoring this advice. The PSG does not encourage members to undertake the ad hoc clearance of vegetation from pillboxes, as it can expose them to physical damage and inappropriate use, it may also contravene a variety of statutory regulations including, listed buildings and SSSI designations. Vegetation clearance should only ever be undertaken as part of a formal arrangement, having sought and obtained permission from the land owner and other necessary authorities. Damaging a listed or scheduled monument can be considered as a Heritage Crime.

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