Monument record MCC7258 - WWII Pillbox at Cudmore Grove Country Park, East Mersea


Hexagonal, concrete pillbox in scrub and thicket at the side of a field 50 yards from the sea shore on Cudmore Grove Country Park.


Grid reference Centred TM 0691 1485 (14m by 15m)
Map sheet TM01SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

1993: Hexagonal, concrete pillbox in scrub and thicket at the side of a field 50 yards from the sea shore at Cudmore Grove Country Park. The structure of the pillbox has been built into the ground with the machine-gun apertures only just above ground level thus showing a low silhouette to an attacker. There is a central anti-aircraft well with a pedestal, originally formed by filling an upended 28" diameter sewage pipe with concrete, surmounted by a concrete post for holding the machine-gun. One photo of site.<1>

2007: 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 <2>.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Photograph: Nash, Fred. 1993. SMR. one frame.
  • <2> Photograph: Colchester Historic Buildings Forum. 2011. Digital photograph of 10-14 Vineyard Street, Colchester. Digital. Volume 1.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

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Record last edited

Jun 12 2020 2:00PM

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