Bramley C.A.D Depot Guard House Pillbox

Taylors Gate Guard House Defence.

 Ngr SU667564


Taylors Gate CAD Depot entrance

Although it is not accessible due to its location on Ministry of Defence (MOD) land, the unusual guard house pillbox can be observed close to Taylors Gate from outside and on the adjacent public footpath.

The unusual defence protects the entrance from the A33 Rd to the wartime command ammunition depot (CAD) at Bramley near Basingstoke, the depot is shielded by woodland within a vast area of fenced off land.

To the north is the small country village of Bramley, the main Reading to Basingstoke railway line runs along the western perimeter of the camp, the railway once had separate sidings running into the camp for the transport and loading of ordnance.

To the east of the depot is the A33 Reading to Basingstoke Rd, beyond this are open fields bordered with dense woodland, a few miles to the south is Chineham Village and Basingstoke.

Taylors Gate CAD Depot entrance

Pillbox viewed from adjacent footpath and wood.

The rectangular pillbox appears to be based upon a variation of the type 26, its brick shuttering looks to be in fine condition and sound which has probably been helped by the roof being covered with a bitumen tarred layer.

This variant pillbox has four loopholes, each made up of three cast pieces, a complete  flame proof flap can still be seen in one of the embrasures in a closed position.

The entrance to the defended post was either by a small stairs or ladder from the guard room below, a brick  chimney stack runs up the rear of the box and is finished with a chimney pot, the guardhouse below is most likely to have had a fireplace but whether this luxury extended to the defence above is unknown.

Several other pillboxes are scattered around the perimeter of the depot but this is the only viewable example.

Tim Denton 2003

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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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