Pillbox near St Peters Chapel, Bradwell on Sea

Concrete defensive bases which were sited in key locations throughout Essex became known as pill boxes mainly from their shape.

They were made from reinforced conrete and designed to be suitable for erection by soldiers and local labour.

When constructed they would command a line of fire on vulnerable areas through which the enemy may advance in the event of an invasion.

Openings and internal support was designed to facilitate rifles and light maching guns with the concrete offering protention from bullets although few would stand up to a direct hit from a shell.

Some made use of the seawall by being cut into the wall itself. This offered a good line of fire across the beach while provide more security for the occupants.

Most are to be found on the coast although some like those views from the A130 road outside Chelmsford are at least 15 miles inland.

Pill boxes now belong to the landowner and so are all private proerty. Many are sited on public rights of way and so are easily accessed although few are open to the public as such.

The Heritage team of Essex County Council has listed all surviving Pill Boxes and other defensive instalations. Click here to visit the website and use the search button.