Pillbox Type 25

Bulletproof Pillboxes of Circular Shape  Type 25

Although pillboxes in the group Type 25 follow similar guidelines, each individual pillbox is different.  This diversity can be seen by differences in wall thickness, the amount of rifle loops, the materials used for construction, camouflage and other modifications such as shutters and blast walls. The construction of pillboxes required a casing to allow the concrete to be poured and dried in shape, this process is known as shuttering. When built the concrete may be shuttered with wooden boards, corrugated iron sheets or bricks.  When shuttered with brick the shuttering was often left on the outside of the concrete casing, as it would have been inefficient to remove the mould.  This added an extra layer to the pillboxes created in this way, often making them appear as made from bricks alone.

Pillbox Type 25 example in Tilford, Waverley (Photo: Paul Bowen) (Historic Environment Record No. 6629)

Pillbox Type 25 example in Tilford, Waverley
(Photo: Paul Bowen)
(Historic Environment Record No. 6629)

Type 25s are far smaller than other pillbox types.  They were often called Armcos as the stainless steel company Armco would have produced much of the corrugated iron sheets used to shutter these types of pillboxes.  The Type 25 has a circular shape and would have around 3 loopholes however this could be changed to suit the location.  Type 25 bulletproof pillbox was designed to be quickly and easily produced using a shuttering kit of corrugated iron with loopholes pre-cut.  Examples on the ground have shown that few pillboxes of this type retained their corrugated iron shuttering as their manufacturers intended, this may be due to the shuttering kit being reused as a result of shortages of materials.

There are very few remaining Type 25s, however this example in Tilford, Waverly (Historic Environment Record No. 6629) displays the Type 25 as the manufacturer intended with the shuttering left in place.  The Defence of Britain Project catalogued only 46 remaining Type 25 pillboxes, of which Surrey has at least one.  The fact that there are so few remaining pillboxes of this type makes the protection of these sites ever more important.

Click here to see an interactive map showing the location of pillboxes in Surrey.

Surrey’s pillboxes are included in the county’s Historic Environment Record (HER), click the link to see more information.

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