Pillbox near Skinner's Monument, Holyhead

Part Tirwedd Holy IslandLink to Welsh translation

This wartime structure, a listed building, is a relic from a time when it was vital to prevent the enemy attacking the port of Holyhead.

During the Second World War, Holyhead was an important naval base and training establishment known as HMS Bee. It was also home to minesweepers of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The port was used by Merchant Navy and Royal Navy vessels attached to the Atlantic convoys, which transported vital cargoes between the Americas and Britain.

To defend the port from potential attack, a battery of naval and anti-aircraft guns was installed at Llanfwrog to protect the mouth of the harbour. The facility included searchlights.

Around Holyhead itself, a series of pillboxes was built, including this one near the Captain Skinner Monument. It overlooked the Old Harbour and railway station.

The pillbox is circular with a blast wall to protect the entrance. In the walls are six flared openings (embrasures) from which soldiers would fire their weapons in the event of an attack. The top of the pillbox has a castellated design giving the look of a mini-castle, possibly to disguise its age and true purpose. Further examples of this type of defensive structure can be seen around Trearddur Bay. It’s thought that this design was unique to Anglesey.

Conservation work on the pillbox was undertaken in 2023 by the Ynys Cybi Landscape Partnership.

With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front Museum, Llandudno

Postcode: LL65 2JF    View Location Map

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