Ballyvester Pillbox, Millisle, Co. Down

The Ballyvester Pillbox on the outskirts of Millisle, Co. Down was part of several stop-lines created throughout Northern Ireland during the Second World War.

The Ballyvester Pillbox stands on high ground on the outskirts of the village of Millisle, Co. Down. The steel-reinforced concrete core remains intact although the brick-faced outer panels have gone. The original steel-door now acts as an access ramp into the pillbox, which stands on private land. Steel shutters that would provide protection from small arms fire have been removed over the decades since the end of the Second World War.

A pillbox such as this would have held light machine guns, either a Bren Gun or a Vickers Machine Gun on a tripod. Six openings in the walls would provide all-round defence. Infantry field positions, slit trenches, and barbed-wire entanglements would have added support in the area.

Worth noting is that the entrance to the pillbox faces the beach. This means the function of the pillbox would have been to act within the stop-line providing defence against a land attack rather than to look out to sea in case of an amphibious landing.

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