Monument record MCC5297 - WWII Spigot Mortar Emplacement, 38 Lexden Road, Lexden, Colchester


Spigot mortar emplacement.


Grid reference TL 9807 2497 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Contemporary records state, "Spigot mortar position. Front garden of Stanmore House, Lexden Road" <1> Stanmore House is No. 38 Lexden Road and the 29mm spigot mortar emplacement still survives in the front garden.

Most of these Home Guard artillery positions were constructed as a concrete-lined octagonal pit with a central pedestal on which to mount the gun. The pedestal was usually made from a 3'6" diameter sewage pipe turned on end and filled with concrete. The gun was located onto a stainless steel pintle fixed into the top of the pedestal such that it could be swung through 360 degrees by the Home Guard crew. The weapon was issued in the spring of 1942 and it appears that most towns, certainly in Essex, were guarded by one or more sited to cover the main approach roads.

The example at Lexden Road is, however, different to the norm. This pedestal has been built to stand at ground level, 3 feet high, and, instead of a pit, a full-height brick wall has been built around it to give protection. This wall is completely circular with an outer diameter of 11'5". The features of the pedestal - stainless steel pintle, size and construction - appear to follow the standard seen elsewhere. Since the war, the "pit" between the pedestal and the wall has been filled in with soil. This has been planted up and the whole structure now appears as a circular, raised flower bed. However, from above, the top of the pedestal and its pintle can still be seen.

Together with the pillbox on the other side of the road (SMR 20514) this emplacement would have been sited to cover the anti-tank road barrier which crossed Lexden Road some 80 yards to the west (SMR 20513).

Five photos of site. <2>

At the time of compiling this record just two spigot mortar emplacements remain extant in Colchester town out of an original complement of well over twenty. Although unusual, this pattern of "above ground level" pedestal is not unique. Other examples survive beneath Chappel viaduct (SMRs 10997, 10998).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> LIST: unknown. 1968. War Time Contraventions 1968. Colchester.
  • <2> Photograph: Nash, Fred. 2001. Spigot Mortar Emplacement 38 Lexden Road. 5 frames, April 2001.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

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Record last edited

Jun 17 2020 9:33AM

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