St Ives

Camouflaged Pillbox

OS 203: Lands End. NGR: SW 5205 – 4040

Pedn Olva Point


This is a very unusual ‘Camouflage’ Pillbox located immediately below the hotel at Pedn Olva at the western edge of Porthminster Beach, St Ives. It is faced in local stone and is so well blended into the cliff that it is almost impossible to locate it when standing on the harbour pier opposite.


Because of its camouflage it is very difficult to ascertain exactly what construction type it actually is. However, it is probably a Type 24. As it’s entrance has been sealed detailed internal examination is impossible. In fact it is now used by the hotel above to house pumping equipment!


Originally access to the structure would have been gained from the hotel grounds above. Steps and a narrow path protected by a low wall are located on the corner of the harbour side elevation.


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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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