First World War pillbox and associated Second World War anti-tank cubes, Sea View, Saltfleetby


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
First World War pillbox TF 46439 92451 Anti-tank cubes TF 46483 92431
Statutory Address:
Sea View, Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire, LN11 7TR


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Statutory Address:
Sea View, Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire, LN11 7TR

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
First World War pillbox TF 46439 92451 Anti-tank cubes TF 46483 92431
East Lindsey (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Pillbox, built 1917, associated with a row of Second World War anti-tank cubes, built c1940.

Reasons for Designation

The First Word War pillbox and associated Second World War anti-tank cubes, all at Sea View, Saltfleetby are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* Date and rarity: built in 1917, the First World War pillbox is a rare survival; * Technology: as an illustration of the evolving technology and defensive tactics in 1917, the addition of anti-tank cubes showing new threats in the Second World War;

Architectural interest:

* Group value: as a coherent linear group of First World War pillboxes functionally and physically associated with later Second World War defensive structures.


Although it is not known exactly when the First World War pillbox at Sea View was built, it is clear that it was constructed as part of an organised coastal defence system with a series of near identical pillboxes placed at 1000 yard intervals. Their design, with single machine gun embrasures to either side to produce flanking fire across the fronts of the neighbouring pillboxes, are similar to those developed on the Western front in 1917, such as those at West Hazebrouck. The lack of front facing embrasures; the reinforced, convex curved roof at least 1m thick; and the use of sandbag shuttering to the exterior were all designed to make them ‘shell-proof’ to resist naval bombardment. This design illustrates the rapid evolution in thinking compared to those believed to be slightly earlier built on the Holderness coast north of the Humber. The pillbox is thought to have been manned by soldiers of the 7th/8th (combined) Battalions, Sherwood Foresters.

The pillbox was re-occupied during the Second World War and integrated into the new anti-invasion defences, it is associated with a row of anti-tank cubes blocking the exit off the foreshore to Sea View. In addition, holdfast bolts for an unknown feature have been set into the concrete of the roof. Post-war the interior has been in-filled with sand to prevent access.


Pillbox, built 1917, associated with a row of Second World War anti-tank cubes, built around 1940.

MATERIALS: in-situ poured reinforced concrete. PLAN: trapezoidal plan.

EXTERIOR: situated below the crest of the eastern slope of the sea bank at Sea Farm, Saltfleetby, the NW and SE elevations each have a single, low set, wide-splayed machine gun embrasure that is partially obscured by slumping ground, and only the top of an off-set set doorway in the rear elevation is visible. The roof has irregular applied lumps of concrete to disrupt the outline of the structure, a blocked circular vent, and two threaded holdfast bolts. The exterior of the structure has a relatively smooth surface, having been cast with timber shuttering. INTERIOR: now largely filled with sand. The walls have smooth whitewashed concrete surfaces, with horizontal plank shuttering witness marks and a timber batten on the NE wall.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE Second World War anti-tank cubes: a single row of '5 foot' (1.5m) concrete anti-tank cubes, situated approximately 50m to SE to obstruct the exit off the foreshore. The cubes are set corner-on (diamond set) towards the line of expected attack. They are not mapped due to survey difficulties.


Books and journals
Infantry Machine Gun Company Training (Provisional), (1917), Plate XVIII
Notes on Trench Warfare, (December 1916), Fig 50
Oldham, Peter (Author), Pillboxes on the Western Front, (1995)
Oldham, Peter (Author), Armageddon's Walls - Britsh pill boxes and bunkers 1914-1918, (2014)
Osbourne, Mike, Pillboxes of Britain and Ireland, (2008)
Wills, H, Pillboxes: A study of UK defences 1940, (1985), 40 - 41, 83 and 89
Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey - Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Field Survey, Selected First and Second World War Monuments, North Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire: Phase 3, Parts 1 and 2


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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