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Building record MDR7874 - Pillbox near the Toyota factory, Etwall

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

One of a number of pill boxes designed and constructed in various parts of the country at the beginning of the last war by F C Construction Co. Ltd. This may be the only one of this type surviving in Derbyshire. They were of unique design, giving a 360 degree field of fire without any obstruction. (1) This cantilever-type pillbox is one of the last remainders of the defences of RAF Burnaston airfield, just outside Derby. The airfield was destroyed to build the Toyota factory and this pillbox is believed to be the only one left out of ten or so that were originally situated around the airfield. The cantilevered pillbox is circular in shape, and comprises a roof that is detached from the walls, and is instead supported by a central pillar. This leaves an embrasure that allows a 360 degree field of fire. Below the embrasure is a curved rail on which machine guns would have been mounted. (2) The pillbox can be seen on Bing Maps aerial photographs within a strip of rough grassland running parallel with the A50, which sits within a field currently used for arable farming. (3) An application for Listed Building status was submitted to English Heritage in 2013, but it was rejected. The pill box was identified as an Oakington model, which are only generally assessed for designation when displaying group value. However, English Heritage does recognise the pillboxes' local historic importance, by demonstrating the utilisation of this defence circuit method outside of RAF Oakington, and because the Oakington pillbox is a relatively rare design in England. (4) Two photographs of the pillbox were taken during a site visit by a member of the public in 2013. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Mr C H Aldwinckle. 2002. Letter relating to Reinforced Concrete Pill Boxes.
  • <2> *Internet Web Site: Sanders, I. 2001-2009. Pillboxes UK. Photos and description found under Derbyshire section of website 17/10/2013..
  • <3> *Internet Web Site: Bing Maps. Website viewed 17/10/2013.
  • <4> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 2013. Advice Report: World War Two Pillbox, Etwall. Case Number 482060.
  • <5> Photograph: Photograph Collection, Conservation & Design section, Derbyshire County Council. HER Images File.



Grid reference Centred SK 28599 29996 (34m by 32m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR4572

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 27 2018 4:28PM

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