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Anti-aircraft pillbox at Sinfin Central Business Park

A Grade II Listed Building in Sinfin, City of Derby

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8863 / 52°53'10"N

Longitude: -1.491 / 1°29'27"W

OS Eastings: 434347

OS Northings: 332219

OS Grid: SK343322

Mapcode National: GBR PGV.8P

Mapcode Global: WHDH0.2Q84

Entry Name: Anti-aircraft pillbox at Sinfin Central Business Park

Listing Date: 29 January 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1421103

Location: Derby, DE24

County: City of Derby

Civil Parish: Non Civil Parish

Unitary Authority Ward: Sinfin

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Sinfin St Stephen

Church of England Diocese: Derby

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Summary

An anti-aircraft pillbox comprising an irregular-shaped hexagon pillbox and three octagonal cells which would have supported a light anti-aircraft battery, probably constructed in the early 1940s.

Description

A Second World War pillbox, probably built in the early 1940s, believed to be a very rare variant of a Type 24 pillbox which incorporates three octagonal light wells which would have supported an anti-aircraft battery.

MATERIALS
The pillbox is constructed of shuttered reinforced concrete.

PLAN
The pillbox is an irregular hexagonal-shaped structure, with three attached and linked octagonal wells thought to have housed light anti-aircraft guns.

EXTERIOR
The walls of the pillbox are partially concealed by overburden and vegetation, and the single entrance on the south side of the structure which gave access to both the pillbox and the anti-aircraft wells has been infilled. The pillbox section is sited to the west, with the cluster of what are thought to be octagonal anti-aircraft wells to the east, extending from the long 'rear' facet of the pillbox. The pillbox has angled gun embrasures to each of the five outward-facing facets of the structure, all now covered with sheeting, and there appears to have been some form of metal-framed superstructure, the embedded feet of which can be seen on the roof of the pillbox. The purpose of such a superstructure could have been to support camouflage netting.

INTERIOR
No interior inspection was possible as the single doorway to the structure has been blocked with masonry. However, on the evidence of details of other Type 24 pillboxes, it is likely that the structure incorporates interior blast walls and shelves to support weapons being fired through the embrasures.

History

Many thousands of pillboxes were constructed in the early stages of the Second World War and were generally placed at strategic locations, as defensive strong points to counter or delay the advance of an enemy force. It is estimated that some 28,000 pillboxes of various designs were built during the war, of which 6,500 are known to survive. Pillboxes were built to standard designs, but there were also variants designed to fulfil specific requirements in particular locations. The Sinfin pillbox is believed to have been built in the early 1940s, in a location close to key industrial locations to the south of Derby city centre. The site it occupies in the Sinfin Central Business Park was formerly in the middle of the Sinfin Ordnance Factory, and nearby were the Litchurch Lane Engine Works and the Rolls Royce factory, together with the extensive railway infrastructure in and around Derby Station. The pillbox is thought to be a variant of the Type 24 pillbox, which incorporated 3 octagonal light anti-aircraft wells to the rear of an irregular hexagonally-shaped pillbox. The ordnance factory closed in the early 1970's, to be replaced by the present business park facilities, amongst which the pillbox now stands, partially concealed by overburden and vegetation. The entrance to the pillbox has been blocked up, and the gun embrasures have been covered. At the time of the site inspection, there was no evidence of development on or near the site.

Reasons for Listing


The anti-aircraft pillbox at Sinfin, Derby is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: the pillbox is a very rare variant of a Type 24 pillbox combining defence against ground attack and aerial bombardment, no other example of this variant type has yet been identified elsewhere;
* Intactness: the pillbox survives in a little-altered state, its form and external detailing remaining clearly legible.

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