Porlock AA Box
Exmoor National Park
What is it?
A listed phone box which was built for use by AA members who had broken down while driving up the steep Porlock Hill.
Why it is special?
Roadside phone boxes were once known as the lighthouses of the road - they were beacons of help for motorists who had broken down.
The first was built in Ashstead in Surry in 1911. Initially they were intended as places of shelter for passing AA patrolmen, but by 1920 all AA members had keys and could use them to make a free phone call if they had broken down.
Members made good use of the network of ‘sentry’ boxes until the arrival of mobile phones rendered them all but obsolete. The AA announced they were to be phased out in 2002 and now only boxes which are listed buildings survive.
Tell us something we didn’t know
The Porlock Box was made famous during the 1952 Lynmouth flood when it was used to break the news of the disaster, which killed 36 people.
How to get there
The village of Porlock Weir is just under eight miles west of Minehead (A39 and B3225). The AA box is an energetic two-mile walk up the hill from the village.
Get around Exmoor without the car with the Moor Rover bus, or get to Minehead from Bishops Lydeard (near Taunton) by steam train via the West Somerset Railway: