Northumberland pillbox disguised as a roofless cottage gets listed status to mark Battle of Britain anniversary
A pillbox on the Northumberland coast has been listed to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Although the Battle of Britain took place between July and October 1940, September 15 is widely seen as when Britain’s RAF Fighter Command gained a decisive victory over the German Luftwaffe.
This unusual pillbox in Druridge Bay was built in 1940-41 in a conspicuous place on Hemscott Hill and is cleverly disguised as a roofless cottage.
It was constructed to defend the vulnerable Druridge Bay from German invasion and has walls of differing heights, creating the impression of a ruined civilian building.
While the more standard forms of pillbox are relatively common, individual camouflage designs or those adapted to local circumstances are less so.
In this exposed location, a traditional pillbox would not have been successful. It was paramount that the building was convincing so the enemy would not realise it was a defensive feature.
It survives virtually unaltered and still has some internal features such as a protective blast wall and the shelves that served as elbow rests.
It is one of four sites to be listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.
Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "The Battle of Britain affected every corner of our nation and it is right that, as we mark its 80th anniversary, we protect the sites, memorials and buildings paying tribute to those who fought and those who lost their lives.
"I am pleased that by protecting these sites we can continue to tell the story of the Second World War and keep alive the stories of this greatest generation who fought for our freedom."
Charles Smith, acting regional director for Historic England in the North East and Yorkshire, said: “Memories and perceptions of the Second World War have been central in shaping the national identity of the UK.
"Many of the physical reminders of this extraordinary period still stand amongst us today, such as the pillbox in Northumberland that has been listed today. I’m pleased that its significance has been recognised 80 years on.”
A message from the Editor: