Dorset Coastal WW2 defences

Pillbox near railway bridge in Sterte, Poole, 2017

Type 22 Pillbox by railway in Sterte, Poole

The research for this painting made use of several visits to the vicinity of the pillbox, but also of Google Earth. It is now difficult (and illegal) to reach the pillbox, which is increasingly overgrown and partially hidden by aggressive plant growth.

Coastal defences

These paintings, from 2017 to 2021, look at several of the remaining WW2 Pillboxes, Dragon's Teeth and Lookouts on the Dorset Coast. Further works are planned and/or in progress.

Link to 2018 Article in Dorset Life about Dick's WW2 defences paintings.

These WW2 structures were built to protect the coast of England, specifically the Dorset coast, against invasion by sea, mainly in 1940. They could then have played a significant role if foreign forces had crossed the Channel. The context in which these structures exist has been changing during the Post-War years, and has now changed again. We are living in politically significant times.

Dick has visited many Dorset coastal locations in search of WW2 pillboxes and other WW2 artefacts that still remain. These include searchlight emplacements, observation platforms, forts. His paintings include only the actual locations he has visited for researching, drawing and gathering evidence for these WW2 defences artworks. All of these paintings are studio works, mostly in oils on board, canvas or wood panels. He has painted some of these structures more than once, for instance looking at different aspects such as the placement of the pillbox loopholes and entrances.

Currently the locations of these coastal defences artefacts shown in his paintings include, more or less from East to West, the following: Highcliffe beach; Poole; Studland; Swanage; Kimmeridge; Pondfield; Worbarrow bay; Ringstead Bay; Bran Point; Top of White Nothe; Osmington; Weymouth; The Fleet Lagoon; Chickerell Hive Point, the Fleet; Burton Bradstock.

The pillbox below (Osmington beach, near Redcliff Point) is a Type 25, as are many of the Dorset coastal pillboxes today. Type 25 pillboxes used corrugated iron shuttering for the concrete. The 'grooves' of the shuttering on this pillbox are vertical, but on others, like the ones at Kimmeridge, the grooves are horizontal.

There is a link to the gallery of coastal Dorset WW2 defences below.

Type 25 Pillbox near Redcliff Point, Osmington


Gallery Link: Dorset coastal WW2 defences