Monument record MCC7257 - WWII Pillbox at Cudmore Grove Country Park, East Mersea


Sitting in a grassy field in Cudmore Grove Country Park, a hexagonal, concrete, 16' diameter pillbox.


Grid reference Centred TM 0674 1469 (12m by 12m) (FCE)
Map sheet TM01SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

1993: Sitting in a grassy field in Cudmore Grove Country Park, a hexagonal, concrete, 16' diameter pillbox. Each wall is 9'6" long x 16" thick and contains a rifle loophole with a 5/8" armoured steel surround, all of which are in situ. In the centre of the pillbox is a hexagonal well, open to the sky, with a central concrete post on which would have been mounted an anti- aircraft machine gun, probably a Lewis. The post is extant and in good condition. Around the sides of the well are ventilation holes from the interior chamber. This pillbox is a fine, well-preserved example in a picturesque setting on ECC recreational land. Three photos of site.<1><2>

During World War Two, what is now Cudmore Grove Country Park was a coastal artillery battery with two 4.7-inch guns, probably of World War One vintage. A Battery Observation Post was the central command position, horizontally-aimed searchlights swept the sea at night from concrete bunkers, and pillboxes guarded the perimeter against ground attack.

In 2007, two pillboxes still survive, both in good condition. The two gun casemates now lie as broken concrete on the sands but remain very recognisable from the large ring of gun-holding bolts, the holdfast. Similarly, the Battery Observation Post is now shattered concrete on the beach, as is one of the two searchlight emplacements, both recognisable from the distinctive shapes. The remaining searchlight emplacement survives as a concrete base on the cliff edge.

After 60 years, very few WWII 4.7-inch coastal artillery sites still survive in anything approaching significant form. All the remains at Cudmore Grove, including the extant pillboxes, the broken emplacements on the beach and the remaining searchlight base, are important features of WWII archaeology, part of the history and heritage of wartime Essex. The loss of any part would be a loss to the integrity of the whole.

See also <3>.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Photograph: Nash, Fred. 1993. SMR. three frames.
  • <2> AP: Rogers, P. 1993. SWBW15-5, 6.
  • <3> Photograph: Colchester Historic Buildings Forum. 2011. Digital photograph of 10-14 Vineyard Street, Colchester. Digital. Volume 1.

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  • None recorded

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Record last edited

Jun 12 2020 2:00PM

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