The Rye Harbour Pill Boxes were built in August 1940. They were designed to house the Vickers Medium Machine Gun, probably two per pill box. Their design is apparently a local variation of a series of bunker templates created by theÂ Directorate of Fortifications and Works, when they realised that the threat of invasion was real.
These pill boxes would have been part of extensive fortifications in the area including tank traps and barbed wire. Some of the tank traps can still be seen as you walk down to the Pill Boxes from Rye Harbour.
The ‘local variation’ doesn’t seem to take into account the usual weather conditions at Rye Harbour. They certainly weren’t built for comfort. The wind blows through them almost as they weren’t there. I don’t imagine they would have provided much defence to those inside, from either the elements or the enemy. They stand now as a reference to the past, and also a place for people to urinate in when they are caught short.
These photographs of the Rye Harbour Pill Boxes can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.