Aldershot, Rectangular Pillbox, Basingstoke Canal.

 

Aldershot Ring Defence, Pillbox, Basingstoke Canal.

                        Ngr SU 860522
Sole survivor of its type beside the Basingstoke Canal towpath

Sole survivor of its type beside the Basingstoke Canal towpath

An unusual small rectangular pillbox can be found beside the Basingstoke Canal to the west of Aldershot military town.

The small pillbox has a twin embrasure front wall which faces south east covering the A325 Farnborough to Farnham Rd and Canal bridge.

This example is a rare and possible sole survivor of its type in this area; it was originally built as part of the GHQ Line defence ring around Aldershot. The box was built to bullet proof specification and measures 11ft by 8ft, its crawl in entrance is shielded by a half height L shape blast wall and a loophole fires out over this. The towpath facing wall has a single loophole as does the rear wall but this is positioned off centre.

Until the 1990’s, a similar pillbox example survived beside the Eelmoor bridge close to the end of the RAE Farnborough main runway, another pair covered the road block at Claycart Bridge and a further rectangular defence stood close to Norris Bridge further west, all have now disapeared through road, bridge and junction alterations or for other un explained reasons.

Since early 2011 the pillbox has had its entrance and all of its loopholes sealed

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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