With the recent marking of Armistice Day, we delve into the history books around Tongham…
Did you know that the Surrey Hills formed one of the strategically important lines of defence during the Second World War? These lines were designed to help protect London in the event of an invasion. Nearby Aldershot was also to become a major defensive position in the event of German landings.
Concrete forts, known as pillboxes, were set along natural features, such as hills and rivers, to try and block tanks.
The hills behind the Brewery were no exception.
Our concrete pillbox is still clearly visible beside the hop garden and we are told that tank traps were once to be found where the hop garden currently sits. These tank traps were deep trenches with obstacles at the bottom and stretched from the south eastern end and went diagonally south west, past the pillbox in the old Hop Kiln building.
Next time you visit the Tap Room, take a closer look at the corner where the Hogs Back Beer Machine is. This corner of the old Hop Kiln building, with its reinforced walls and tell-tale low window, was once home to a machine gun!
Part of our long-term plan is to decorate the walls of our bunker with artefacts dating from that period. So if anyone has any momentos or photographs of Tongham during the war, or memories they wish to share, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.