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Lancashire At

Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire






Pillboxes - Page 2

Pillboxes, ever a popular WW2 topic, now have a SECOND page - and this is it.

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This is an unusual pillbox! Built in local stone to blend in, but concrete and brick on the inside. Situated just off the Huddersfield Road above Diggle (see left). It has embrasures on all sides.

Situated just a few hundred yards from a Prehistoric burial site - up in the hills "a good site is a good site" you feel this has been an important site and route for thousands of years. Sources say that the farmer has identified and preserved rifle & weapon pits associated with the pillbox.

On the Holmfirth Road (A635) just outside Greenfield, Oldham overlooking the reservoirs is this strange site (below). There are two visible parts to the site - but you have to look carefully to see them. A passage links two pillboxes made of brick and concrete. Why not a stone facade?

Below: Close ups of the two pillboxes. And below that - their stunning views.

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Alston Pillbox:

We were recently asked via our Contact Page if the pillbox on Preston Road between Grimsargh and Longridge had been demolished, as they could not see it. Well, as you can see by these photos - it is still there, just well hidden.

It is on Preston Road opposite the junction with Alston Lane.

There are some great photos of it:


Both are from the Longridge Town Archive

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Left: Another well hidden pillbox - hidden behind the building on the left. This is protecting one of the main entrances to Magnesium Elektron Ltd. Which is on the boundary of Prestwich and Pendlebury (Manchester). The location also protects the main Bury - Manchester railway line (seen in the background).

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The Magnesium Elektron factory, according to Wikipedia: "During World War II, the company made an important contribution to the nation's war effort producing thousands of tons of magnesium metal alloys for the aircraft industry." But I wonder if they added to the supply of incendiary bombs as well. Anyone know?

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Seen a pillbox on a Golf Course before?

This one is on Fairfield Golf Course, Audenshaw, Manchester.

Situated next to two reservoirs, we would presume it was here to defend them. The Home Guard often patrolled reservoirs, fearing they could be targets for enemy poison/pollution.

Above: Note the ladder rungs up the outside wall by the entrance  - what were they for?

According to Manchester's Bomb Damage maps held at the University of Manchester, Fairfield Golf Course received three High Explosive bombs on 31st August 1940. I wonder if this pillbox was already built at that point?

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You could be forgiven for missing this one!

(Left) On Market Street between Healey and Broadley to the North of Rochdale, it gives great views beyond the road across the valley where Healey Dell nature reserve sits. Healey Dell was a munitions factory in World War Two and no doubt this pillbox is associated with the protection of that site.

Below: Still hard to see when close up. Not just hidden by the flora but also by some ornate garden wall additions - not seen that before!


Healey Dell Munitions Factory -




There are several pillboxes in Blackpool and the surrounding area and some are very unusual - our favourite being the one on the railway bridge (below). Many are around the two airport sites which were used during the Second World War.


Rather than repeat it all, please visit our

Blackpool At War Page HERE

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