Concrete Castles: Britain’s War Defences of 1940

As part of a year-long programme of events telling the stories of Cornwall and the Second World War, Bodmin Keep is mounting an exciting new art exhibition entitled Concrete Castles: Britain’s War Defences of 1940. The exhibition, which runs from 27th July to 4th December, explores Britain’s World War 2 defence structures, especially pillboxes, that are found on the coast and in the landscape. Works by 30 artists will be on display, including sculpture, paintings and photography, celebrate these unsung structures that we so often ignore take for granted.
In reaction to the threat of invasion by Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940, Britain hastily constructed 89,000 pillboxes around the coast and across the countryside and these have since been described as 20th century castles. While a few of the more impressive have been restored and are even tourist attractions and others are acknowledged through interpretive signage, some are long-forgotten and dilapidated. Many have become ruinous and half-hidden by encroaching nature.

Concrete Castles celebrates these small but iconic buildings that were designed to protect Britain in time of war. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue including essays on the war artists who painted the subjects when new, why contemporary artists are now drawn to them and a short history of Britain’s invasion scare in the summer of 1940.

Essays by Tim Craven, Lisa Traxler, Steve Marshall.

There will also be an Illustrated talk by the Curator of the exhibition, Tim Craven, at 7pm on Friday 24th September and a talk by some of the contributing artists at 7pm on Friday 22nd October.

Admission to the exhibition is included in the museum’s usual ticket price. For further information and opening hours please visit the museum’s website or call 01208 72810. For more information about the exhibition and artists, contact
Mary Godwin, Director email: Tel 01208 72810

Curator: Tim Craven,
Registered Charity (Cornwall’s Regimental Museum) Number 1174375