Two pillboxes near Green Castle
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006438
Date first listed: 24-Oct-1973
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NT 98297 27779, NT 98408 28013
Two pillboxes, 217m WNW and 371m NNW of Waud House.
Reasons for Designation
World War II pillboxes are built and heavily protected defensive gun positions, mostly for infantry with rifles and machine-guns but larger forms housed light artillery, notably anti-tank guns and light anti-aircraft guns. They are generally grouped around vulnerable or strategically important nodal points, installations and areas, or arranged along linear defensive systems designed to obstruct the enemy's advance across the country. Pillboxes first appeared widely as a defensive element in the relatively static trench warfare of World War I. Gradual development over the following two decades was superceded in early 1940 by design principles born from the practical experience of British troops in France, giving a shell-proof reinforced concrete construction whose hexagonal plan had a gun loophole in each facet giving all-round cover, strongly influencing designs issued from May1940 by the War Office and by the Chief Engineers of the regional Commands. Nationally, pillbox construction began in late May 1940 as a key part of the rapid programme of anti-invasion defences initiated after the fall of France to German troops. By October 1940, over 14,000 shuttered concrete pillboxes had been built, supplemented by large numbers in other construction techniques and a small number of commercially-produced pillbox designs. Various forms of camouflaged facing were employed and others were hidden within existing structures, depending on local circumstances. By early 1941 however, the tactical concepts underlying pillboxes, especially their deployment to provide linear defensive lines, were becoming criticised as being too inflexible, costly and impracticable as an effective defensive system, with increasing reliance being placed on dug fieldworks around vulnerable points and the use of mobile troop units. This shift in policy culminated in February 1942 in an order requiring no more to be built as they were deemed unsuitable, by which time over 20,000 pillboxes had been completed.
The pillboxes, 217m WNW and 371m NNW of Waud House are substantially preserved as standing structures and are good examples of their type. Their proximity to Green Castle provides them with greater significance as they offer insight into the changing character of fortification and defence between the medieval period and the 20th century.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 1 June 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the remains of two pillboxes dated to World War II, situated on a north east facing slope to the west of Wooler. Both pillboxes, which stand intact, are constructed to the same design and are hexagonal in plan with two longer sides with a single door protected by a porch and nine gun-slits.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ND 569
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 1421707, 1421709
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing