Thorpe Thewles History Group

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Thorpe Thewles History Group
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Local Pillboxes

Can anyone provide me with any information regarding any of the local WW II pillboxes in the area?

I have been informed that there are two still in existance near Stillington plus there are three to my knowledge in Thorpe Thewles. Two of these were built into the north and south embankments of the eastern side of the old Thorpe Thewles Railway Viaduct (on the Stockton to Castle Eden Branch Line). The third is in a field just behind the car par of the Hamilton Russell Arms. It appears that all three of these pillboxes were built with the defence of the Railway Viaduct in mind. Were they also used for local home guard training exersises or where they just kept in readyness for a Geman invasion that never happened? I guess that they were probably built around 1940. Can anyone confirm this?

If any one has any information or stories relating to these pillboxes or the home guard's war time activities in Grindon Parish it would be great to hear from you.

Re: Local Pillboxes

Mark has sent me some photos of the the Thorpe Thewles pillboxes and has correctly identified them as type 23.

In June 1940 Branch FW3 of the War Office Directorate of Fortifications and Works put out standard plans for approx 12 standard pillboxes. The type 23 is a relatively rare type with 156 being recorded in the UK vs the much more common type 22 of which there are 1000's of examples.

The examples at Thorpe Thewles are unusual in having no forward facing loophole or firing slit. This sort of design was commonly used on beaches where the defenders would have wanted to fire along the beach at the attackers.

There's more photos of type 23's on the link below.