Norbury Junction

Type 24 Pillbox Guarding Road Bridge Over Canal Gorge

If you are travelling around the Shropshire countryside and happen to find yourself driving along the A519 between Newport and Eccleshall you will inevitably pass over the Shropshire Union Canal just north of Norbury Junction.

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The road bridge looks nothing out of the ordinary but if you stop in the adjacent lay-by and look over the edge you will be surprised that it actually spans a man made gorge about 50ft deep. At the bottom is the Shropshire Union Canal running from Wolverhampton up towards Market Drayton and beyond. The canal twists its way across the mostly flat Shropshire countryside, but at this point the engineers found it necessary to cut a deep scar into the landscape. The material removed was piled up on either side making the gorge even deeper and impassible to man or beast except at specific crossing points. This location is one of those points and it is guarded by a TYPE 24 Pillbox situated on the eastern side of the canal at the end of the earth bank closest to the main road. Now hidden in trees it still has a commanding position and nothing would have been able to cross the bridge without coming under fire!

The rear left-hand (viewed from the back) part of the roof has had a hole knocked through it. This gives us an opportunity to have a look at the construction. Reinforced shuttered concrete is the order of the day with wood inserts below and to the side of each window; no doubt for the attachment of wooden shelves for ammunition etc.

By Graham Matthews

 

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