Ancient Monuments

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Boarhills, pill boxes 1250m north west of

A Scheduled Monument in East Neuk and Landward, Fife

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Latitude: 56.3271 / 56°19'37"N

Longitude: -2.7155 / 2°42'55"W

OS Eastings: 355849

OS Northings: 715201

OS Grid: NO558152

Mapcode National: GBR 2V.57W4

Mapcode Global: WH7S7.874D

Entry Name: Boarhills, pill boxes 1250m NW of

Scheduled Date: 24 September 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10862

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Pillbox

Location: St Andrews and St Leonards

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: East Neuk and Landward

Traditional County: Fife


The monument consists of a pair of well-camouflaged inter-linked Second World War pill boxes set into a rock promontory overlooking the foreshore, facing north-eastwards out to sea.

The pill box on the south-east side of the promontory, which contains the entrance doorway as well as gun embrasures, is partly cut into the rock and partly constructed of rubble masonry, with the excavated rock presumably being put to re-use for the rubble masonry. It is capped by a concrete canopy supported by steel joists. Connecting the first with the second pill box is a rock-cut corridor of arched section that is reinforced for part of its length by metal hoops. The second pill box is on the north-west side of the rock promontory, and has a vertical escape hatch and gun embrasures. The projecting portions of the concrete canopies have inset rocks and turf on their upper surfaces to act as camouflage.

According to local tradition the pill boxes were built by Polish troops, and it is possible that these were from the same contingent that was working on the coastal defence line at Tentsmuir. The defence of the parts of the Fife coast that were deemed particularly vulnerable to enemy landings was a high priority, since the coast was set between the strategically important rail crossings of the Firths of Forth and Tay, and could give access to a major naval base at Rosyth and to important air bases at Leuchars and Crail.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, with maximum dimensions of 105m from south-south-west to north-north-east, and 80m from north-north-west to south-south-east, as marked on the attached map. It includes the pillboxes themselves, an area of the rock above and behind them into which the pillboxes were intended to merge, and an area of rough ground in front of them where there would have been barbed wire entanglements amongst the scrub.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The paired pill boxes which form this monument are of national importance both as a part of a major defensive line constructed along the Fife coast during the Second World War, and as a unique illustration of one of the ways in which individual elements along that line could be adapted to the configuration of the terrain in which they were located.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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