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HER Number:MDV105481
Name:Berry Head Fort Number 1


Substantial structural and earthwork remains of the eighteenth to nineteenth century coastal fort are visible on aerial photographs from the 1940s to 2012.


Grid Reference:SX 941 561
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 447532
  • Torbay HER: MTO20083

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ARTILLERY FORT (XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 3209-3210 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351061.

The ramparts, moat and many of the internal features are clearly visible as structures and earthworks. Map object partly based on this source.

Pye, A. & Slater, W., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham: An Archaeological Survey, Fig. 12 (Report - Survey). SDV354502.

A plan of Fort Number 1 is included.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX9456_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

The structural and earthwork remains are clearly visible. Map object partly based on this source.

Gaimster, M., 2011, Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon (Article in Serial). SDV361542.

BRIXHAM, BERRY HEAD FORT 1 (SX 9433 5649) AND FORT 3 (SX 94165 56122).
A.J. Passmore and M. Leverett (Exeter Archaeology) recorded structures within two Napoleonic-era forts. In Fort 1 were remains of the original drawbridge, building recording and excavation were also undertaken on and within the guardhouse, magazine and kitchen, revealing further details of their original layout, and their construction and development (citing Exeter Archaeology Report 10.73).

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

The late eighteenth to early twentieth century fort number 1 at Berry Head is clearly visible on aerial photographs from 1946 to 2012. Although much of the fort is depicted on the base mapping, other parts are visible in greater detail on the aerial photographs and some additional features are visible. Some features depicted on the basemap have therefore been transcribed, mainly from the 2012 aerial photographs.
In addition to the stone revetted rampart with gun embrasures, many of the internal features previously surveyed by Pye & Slater (1990) are visible as ruinous structures and low earthworks. A small pale flat structure was visible at circa SS9417756076 to the east of the barrack block and may be the well or cistern capping recorded in the Torbay HER (MTO44729). The remains of the barracks themselves were indistinctly visible as low earthworks and possibly parchmarks, circa 30 by 7 metres in plan, on several runs of aerial photographs. A linear earthwork just to the north seems to mark the break of the slope down from the ramparts and has a probable return at its north-east point, forming what appears to be an L-shaped embanked feature in two parts.
No definite evidence was seen of the Second World War gun platforms recorded in the Torbay HER (MTO44730), although a 2 by 3 metre rectangular flat structure at circa SS9414456136 to the north-west of the suggested location was visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946. This may have had a military function as a stable base for machinery or a structure.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV351061Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 3209-3210 10-DEC-1946.
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coastal Observatory SX9456_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012.
SDV354502Report - Survey: Pye, A. & Slater, W.. 1990. Berry Head Fort, Brixham: An Archaeological Survey. Exeter Museums Field Unit. 90.10. A4 Stapled + Digital. Fig. 12.
SDV361542Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2011. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 45. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV105464Related to: Berry Head Fort Number 3 (Monument)
MDV105448Related to: Rifle Range on Berry Head Common (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)
  • EDV7797 - Architectural Survey by DA Buildings Section 1988
  • EDV7832 - Documentary research on the Berry Head Fort
  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessment of the Berry Head Forts

Date Last Edited:Jul 5 2018 8:20PM