Small fort behind the beach

World War II pillbox in the sand dunes behind the beach at Sand Bay, north of Weston-super-Mare; March 2007.

Here are the western extremities of the Somerset Levels, where they run down under the waters of the Bristol Channel, near Weston-super-Mare.

The coast and tidal areas at Sand Bay are very flat and there was concern in World War II that this might constitute a viable and relatively undefended invasion area for German forces.  Hence the line of these squat, 70 year old pillboxes – tiny military strongpoints –  that still command wide fields of fire across the totally exposed foreshore from their positions on the tops of the low dunes behind the beach.

The great masses of vegetation in the foreground of the photo contain strong, pale leading lines that direct the eye up the sandy path towards the pillbox, with its two blank “eyes”.  This leading line effect is enhanced by the tall, wind-blasted bush on the skyline, which seems to lean towards the structure.

OM-4 with 21mm Zuiko; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide rated at 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Push Process N+2 preset.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    I like that texture, too. Yes, desperate days – we never had to deal with it at such an intimate level here. But, since I’m a coastal sort I guess, I do see similar fortifications now and then, and it gives one pause.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I’m proud of what my country did in WWII, though I’m not at all sure about patriotism and things of that ilk – but I am very sure that the UK was very lucky in WWII – to get away with the Dunkirk evacuation for a start, to scrape through the Battle of Britain for another – and not to have been invaded as the most important of all, we were so close to that, and that would have been truly terrible.


  2. Meanderer says:

    I like the scale of this – the feeling that the fort is miniature size. I also love the texture of those grasses.

    Hope all is good with you.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, M – good points. Not so sure about all and good, maybe plus and minus puts it better. A


      • Meanderer says:

        Mmm: plus and minus; ups and downs. Seems to be the way of it, my friend.

        Have sampled a couple of interesting whiskys (whiskeys) recently. Had a Japanese one which was rather interesting, a Scandinavian one which wasn’t so good (burnt the back of the throat), and a rather wondrous Iriish one ‘Green Spot’ which really hit the spot: smooth and long with the flavour of toffee apples.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sallyann says:

    I forget about leading lines… I use a frame a lot to draw people into the picture, and I use the rule of thirds often, maybe I’ll remember to think more about the leading lines next time I’m playing. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂


  4. That is a great shot – there are several near the beach we stay at on the East Coast and it is creepy to explore inside of them. I would hate to be inside one during the war as I suspect they would be ‘taken out’ pretty quickly…


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, creepy it is – I grew up in this area, and childhood explorations inside these small and dark strongpoints were always hurried and nervous. And yes I agree, I don’t think this would have lasted long in the face of a german tank coming up the beach! But those were desperate days – and days not so long before I (and maybe you too) were born. Thanks for your good thoughts, James! Adrian


  5. paula graham says:

    A magnet to photographers/children and lovers alike! Nice one


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