Mowlem 6 Pounder Drum Pillbox Shalford Surrey

Tillingbourne Brook, East Shalford Lane, Ngr TQ 012474

 

On a section of GHQ Line B near Shalford in Surrey is a badly deteriorating, but still highly interesting drum shaped anti tank gun emplacement.

GHQ Line 'B' Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

GHQ Line ‘B’ Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

Postioned on the edge of a woods and a gentle slope facing south west, its map ref is TQ012474. The defence overlooks a small bridge over the Tillingbourne brook in Shalford lane. The surrounding area is very rural and is not far from Guildford.

The unusual round concrete shuttered pillbox was constructed by J Mowlem Ltd and to a design unique to this part of the GHQ line.

Based on the hexagonal or rectangular anti-tank design Mowlems constructed a framework around the the outside by way of adapting and bending metal plates to form a mould, this was then filled with concrete to form the unique drum shape.

GHQ Line 'B' Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

GHQ Line ‘B’ Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

Seventeen of this style of pillbox survive on GHQ Line B between Godalming and Chilworth, two six pounder versions survive, the other in a private garden.

The inside of the defence is flooded and but has survived unvandalised.

GHQ Line 'B' Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

GHQ Line ‘B’ Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

GHQ Line 'B' Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

GHQ Line ‘B’ Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

The heavily rusted 9 stud hold fast plate is still attached to its concrete plinth just inside the main embrasure and this would have once secured the quick firing 6 pounder to a rigid mounting point.

The large stepped embrasure gives an excellent view of the road and the bridge a short distance in front of it, the rear entrance doorway is  low but just accessible, an additional single rifle/Bren Gun loophole with large shelf is positioned left of the main 6 pounder embrasure .

GHQ Line 'B' Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

GHQ Line ‘B’ Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

The drum pillbox sits on a massive concrete raft which is surrounded by very damp and boggy ground, the inside is flooded and the outer moss covered walls are suffering from rapid deterioration, in places the roofline is beginning to crack and tree growth is taking hold.

GHQ Line 'B' Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

GHQ Line ‘B’ Drum Pillbox @ Shalford, Surrey NGR: TQ 012474 Photograph by Tim Denton

Sadly without some simple and deserved conservation work its future survival seems bleak.

by Tim Denton

Join The Group

We welcome new members to the PSG. We currently have over 300 members in six countries. Members receive the journal 'Loopholes' three times a year which details recent finds and sites of particular interest.
PSG Membership
For more details about PSG, membership, Pillboxes or Defence Structure related topics contact our Co-ordinator Roger Thomas.

Disclaimer

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.

Top 100 Military Sites


Hit Counter provided by Business Card Holders