Benfleet’s Pillbox

Benfleet’s pillbox stands proud over looking a channel separating Canvey Island from the mainland. Built at around 1939/1940, the second World War pillbox is a fine example demonstrates properties that war defence might have. It has five sides and four loop holes for a Bren light machine gun or Short Magazine Lee Enfield rifle, designed for the Home Guard to man in case of a Nazi attack on Britain, whose intentions would probably have been to take London via the Thames. The image below shows concrete lumps on top of it. The main reason for this was to help disguise it however it would also protected it a bit more, however not significantly.


This pillbox also contains a loop (firing hole) to size of a pistol, such as the British Webley revolver, facing the entrance, in order to fire upon any hostiles trying to clear out the pillbox from the back. It features a ‘porch’ entrance, which has walls made of bricks in a  ‘zig-zag’ pattern, probably to reinforce it against explosions. Inside the pillbox has a wall in a ‘Y’ shape in the centre, which would be used to protect a percentage of the men inside the pillbox from a grenade thrown in. Some of the loop-holes still have metal reinforcement around them.



The image above shows a loop that is reinforced by metal.

  1. Frank Daley says:

    Going back to the 1950s when I was a young boy I can remember their was a large bunker up against the railway line embankment by the station

    • BTP Liam says:

      That’s interesting to hear, I don’t suppose you remember the ‘mags’ – Victorian ammo magazines not far from the pillbox? They are rumored to still exist but went searching the other day to no avail.

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