Housebuilder preserves a World War II pillbox in Aylsham

PUBLISHED: 13:06 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 17 November 2017

The World War II pillbox at the new homes site

The World War II pillbox at the new homes site


Housebuilder David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties recently opened a new memorial garden at its Bure Meadows development in Aylsham - created to preserve a World War II pillbox discovered on the site.

Cutting the ribbon at the World War II pillbox at the David Wilson siteCutting the ribbon at the World War II pillbox at the David Wilson site

Unveiling the new memorial gardenUnveiling the new memorial garden

Pillboxes were constructed in the 1940s as a defence network for the Home Guard to use in the event of a German invasion during World War II. While never used, they are a concrete reminder of the sacrifices made by those fighting for their country. Stewart Blackburn, chairman of Veterans Norfolk, attended the event to officially cut the ribbon to the garden.

Jason Colmer, sales director at David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties, said: “As a responsible housebuilder it is important to us to create new communities alongside constructing new homes and we hope the garden serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives and can be used by new and existing residents of Aylsham as a space of reflection.”

Mr Blackburn said: “As we approach the 100th anniversary of the First World War it is easy to overlook the very real fear people had of an invasion of England. Weybourne was identified as a probable invasion site and so the Bure Valley was seen as an effective defensive line; hence many of the old prefabricated pillboxes designed by Sir Ernest William Moir were positioned along their banks.

“This classic hexagon shaped pillbox is an extremely good example and David Wilson Homes have done a great job in creating a quiet space around the pillbox where people can sit and remember those affected by conflict of all periods. Most of these structures have been destroyed long ago, and the discovery of this particular pillbox came as a complete surprise to the developers. I applaud them for their foresight in transforming an over grown structure into a beautiful space for the whole community to enjoy.”

For more information on Bure Meadows, you can call the sales information line on 0844 811 3888 or visit www.dwh.co.uk.

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