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Lancashire At

Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire

Barrow Coastal Defences

Defending the West Coast of Barrow, looking out towards Walney Island there were a string of pillboxes defending this coast from attack. While many have been demolished or "lost" several remain. They defended an important industrial site (Barrow was known for its shipbuilding and heavy industry) during WW2 against invasion. The usefulness of these isolated pillboxes some hundreds of metres apart is possibly debateable, but it is all we had in those dark days.


We walked the coastline South to North recording all the pillboxes as we went, with our guide, David Coward who showed us the pillboxes and other local historical sites. Our sincere thanks to him for his time and knowledge.


LEFT & BELOW: Pillbox Type 24 with extended entrance at Palace Nook. Click on a photo to enlarge.


BELOW LEFT & BELOW RIGHT: Another Type 24 Pillbox with extended entrance. This one is between Palace Nook and Sowerby Lodge. It has completely slipped off its base.


BELOW LEFT & BELOW RIGHT: This Type 24 Pillbox with extended entrance sits on the coastline near Sowerby Lodge. Inside the concrete roof spans clearly show the imprints of the wooden planks used as shuttering in its construction.


BELOW LEFT & BELOW RIGHT: On the coastline in front of Barrow Mill is a further Type 24 Pillbox with extended entrance. This one has suffered the most from coastal erosion. Sat on one side with half its base missing looking more like a modern piece of sculpture than a remnant of war. CLICK on an image BELOW RIGHT to expand.


BELOW LEFT & BELOW RIGHT: Near Sowerby Wood stands this Type 24 Pillbox with extended entrance. It has a neighbour close by at Oak Head but that one remained buried in the woods and gorse and we could not find it.


BELOW & RIGHT: The last of our run of pillboxes up the coast is another Type 24 with extended entrance. Inside are still the remnants of the fixings for the shelves and door - or at least the wooden brackets in the walls.

Our sincere thanks to Dave Coward for his time and knowledge showing us all these sites.

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