Pillbox FAQs

Who actually owns a pillbox that is on their land?

The landowner.

 What was the original legal position when the land was requisitioned?

The land was requisitioned under the war emergencies act (1939 i think)

 Was the land actually ever handed back?

Yes. At the end of the war the land was returned to the owner wherever possible. In some cases the government kept the land if it had a military usage after the war.

 If someone wanted to move a pillbox from one owners land to another, what legal problems would be encountered?

Only the usual ‘problems’ involved in transferring ownership from one person to another. No more difficult (legally) than selling a car or trailer. They are very difficult things to move physically though!

However, before moving the pillbox remember that much of its true importance is it’s location in the landscape. A pillbox guarding a crossroads loses all its significance if it is moved to a garden overlooking a river. It also makes future archaeologists very confused!

 Are pillboxes protected by preservation orders?

Some are, some are not. Check with your county council archaeology department. They will know!

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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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