Ancient Monuments

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Coed Chwefri Vickers Machine Gun Emplacement

A Scheduled Monument in Cilmery (Cilmeri), Powys

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Latitude: 52.1503 / 52°9'1"N

Longitude: -3.4181 / 3°25'5"W

OS Eastings: 303067

OS Northings: 251170

OS Grid: SO030511

Mapcode National: GBR YN.6LSN

Mapcode Global: VH69Z.P6VX

Entry Name: Coed Chwefri Vickers Machine Gun Emplacement

Scheduled Date: 27 October 2008

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1279

Cadw Legacy ID: BR399

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Pillbox

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Powys

Community: Cilmery (Cilmeri)

Built-Up Area: Builth Wells

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument consists of a pillbox designed for three Vickers machine guns, which dates to the early period of the Second World War (AD 1940-41). It was built into the NW side of a local summit located between the Irfon and Chwefri rivers on the W side of Builth Wells. The three large stepped embrasures of the pillbox face W, NW and N to defend the road towards Cilmery and the valley of the Chwefri. The pillbox was built to a non-standard design from reinforced concrete and roughly shaped stone. It is an irregular hexagonal shape on plan. Internally the pillbox measures c. 5.25m in length, 2.68m in width and 2.07m in height. The walls measure 0.8m in thickness. An internal concrete firing table survives beneath each embrasure. The dog-leg entrance is located on the E side and was defended by a pistol loop in the traverse. Externally, the pillbox was covered by a grassed mound of earth that measures 15m in length NE-SW by 8m transversely.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of World War II anti-invasion practices. The pillbox is of a unique design in the UK and is well preserved. It is an important relic of actions taken against the perceived threat of a German invasion from Ireland. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The pillbox formed part of the Builth Wells to Caersws stop line and its importance is further enhanced by the group value it shares with the pillbox at Doldowlod (RD271).

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around within which related evidence may be expected to survive. The scheduled area is centred at NGR SO 03069 51173. It is circular and measures 30m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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