SMHS project: Battle Nodal Point

22 Feb 2014

As a nodal point, the town of Battle was fortified in 1940 to make it tank-proof. The defences included a perimeter of anti-tank dragon's teeth as well as roadblocks and defence posts.

In 2013, SMHS were contacted by a landowner who had found some rubble in his garden and was wondering if it was the remains of a pillbox. He also mentioned that he had a line of dragon's teeth running through his garden, and would we like to have a look?

Arriving on site, we quickly dispelled the idea that we were looking at the remains of a pillbox; the photograph below shows the line of blocks in the background, with some rubble further down the slope.

Unfortunately, this rubble appeared to be a mixture of broken dragon's teeth and the remnants of an ornamental garden fountain.

Battle Nodal Point

This did not rule out the presence of a pillbox however, and for one very good reason. SMHS member Peter Hibbs had previously located a map of the defences of Battle in the archives and a pillbox was clearly marked at this location.

The general area was very overgrown and at the landowner's invitation, we agreed to clear some of it, survey the dragon's teeth and hunt for evidence of the missing pillbox. We weren't too confident that we would be successful with the latter.

However, a bit of perseverance and good fortune resulted in a very rewarding outcome for the project!

Battle Nodal Point

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