HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV123588
Name:Berry Head Hotel, Brixham


Berry Head Hotel was built in 1809 as a military hospital to serve the garrisons stationed at the fortifications on Berry Head. It subsequently became a private residence and was converted into a hotel in the middle decades of the 20th century.


Grid Reference:SX 938 567
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/15
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 383532
  • Tide Project: 26/08/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO13892

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOSPITAL (Built, XIX - 1809 AD to 1809 AD)
  • HOUSE (XIX - 1835 AD to 1886 AD (Between))
  • HOTEL (Early 20th Century to Late 20th Century - 1930 AD to 1970 AD)

Full description

Ordnance Office and War Office, 1831-1848, MPHH 1/692 (Record Office Collection). SDV318548.

Plan dated 1834.

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments (Cartographic). SDV359954.

Recorded as Houses, Offices & Farm Yard at Berry Head (plot 1460). The land owner is recorded as the Government, the occupier Revd. Henry Francis Lyte.

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Group of buildings arranged in a square depicted together with a couple of outbuildings.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Marked as Berry House.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Marked as Berry Head House.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

Marked as Berry Head House.

Waterfield, R., 1932, Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 42-43 (Article in Serial). SDV362423.

Berry Head House, Brixham. Built as the hospital for the fort in 1809. The grounds were formerly a cemetery for the hospital. Human bones have been found and reburied; a stone fixed to the house bears the inscription: 'to the unknown dead'. The entry is through a gateway in the outer fortification.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 64 (Monograph). SDV336217.

The military hospital, now Berry Head Hotel, is a very utilitarian structure of seven bays.

Ordnance Survey, 1953-1969, 1953-1969 National Grid OS A edition imperial (Cartographic). SDV352727.

Marked as Berry Head Hotel.

County Borough of Torbay, 1967, Berry Head, 21 (Monograph). SDV362520.

This hospital replaced the old hospital in No. 3 fort, which functioned 1803-1809.

Department of Environment, 1975, Borough of Torbay, 4 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV362418.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 8, 15, 16, Fig. 8, Pl. 14 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

The Berry Head Hotel was built as a military hospital in 1809-10 by a Mr Hyne, a local builder. It was occupied by Hyne after the Napoleonic Wars and then tenanted by Revd Lyte from 1835 and by A.A. Maxwell Lyte, later Hogg, from 1846, who bought the property in 1886. Now a hotel.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 9 (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

The hospital, now fully furnished and in use as a hotel, was not included in the survey.

Pye, A.R., 1996, Berry Head Hotel, Brixham: An Archaeological Survey (Report - Assessment). SDV362521.

An archaeological survey was undertaken of the hotel in advance of alteration and extension.
The hotel was originally built as a military hospital built in 1809 to serve the garrison of the batteries and redoubts on the headland. It subsequently became a private residence. It was built by Mr Hyne, a local builder who leased the building in 1823. It was let to Revd. Lyte in 1835 and assigned A.A. Maxwell Lyte in 1846, who purchased it from the War Department in 1886. It is not known when it was converted into a hotel.
The building comprises a two storey, three winged building facing north to the sea. It is built of roughly-dressed rubble limestone with ashlar detailing under hipped slate roofs. The limestone came from a purpose-dug quarry to the south-east, and using lime from a limekiln built within it.
Birch's plan of January 1834 shows it to have been built in two matching halves, as mirror images. Overall, the building and compound were divided in two, with perhaps one half for officers and the other for men. A wall divided the two, although mingling was apparently possible on the verandah. Another explanation could be that one half housed infectious cases. Each wing of the main building had a pair of large heated ward rooms on each floor, to each of which was attached a smaller heated room, probably for nurses or orderlies. In the central (north) wing was a pair of heated rooms on each floor, adjoining the main ground floor entrances and stairs; these may have been used for administrative purposes, or possibly for surgery or other treatment. To the rear, covered walkways connected the main building with a heated service block. This had large fireplaces, which served the kitchens (probably sited to front) as well as another pair of rooms to rear - possibly wash/laundry rooms, surgeries, or both. To the rear of this block were a pair of coal houses, and a pair of toilet cubicles in each corner. Adjoining each entrance was a rectangular building with a single door and two windows. These were not heated and may have been used for storage or as mortuaries.
By 1864 some additional buildings had been constructed, including the store adjoining the east stable and another store which abuts the west coal house. A wall forming a small enclosure to the west of this is also shown as is a small northern extension of the west stable. Similar detail is shown on the 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map of 1906, indicating that the southern extension of the west stable dates to after this time.
Although altered and extended since 1834, the original layout remains clearly discernible. Particularly important and vulnerable survivals include the east covered way linking the main building to the kitchen block and the east stair within the main building; both are original features. It represents, therefore a rare survival of a purpose built military hospital of the Napoleonic period.
See report for detailed description.

Exeter Archaeology, 2010, Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV362409.

An assessment of potential archaeological impact of proposed developments at Berry Head Hotel was undertaken by Exeter Archaeology in January 2010. These included remodelling of the main hotel building and the creation of a spa facility, the building of holiday cottages withing the brick retaining wall of a former WWII oil storage tank and conversion of former farm buildings to accommodation. The impact of the proposed development is considered to be low to moderate.
The hotel was built 1809-10 as a military hospital for garrison in the fortifications on the headland. It subsequently became a private residence. It was let to Mr Hyne, the builder responsible for its construction, in 1823 and to Revd Lyte, vicar of Brixham who wrote Abide with me, in 1835 and assigned to A.A. Maxwell-Lyte in 1846. She bought it from the War Dept in 1886. The building is named as Berry House on the 1906 25 inch OS map. It became a hotel circa 1949.

Exeter Archaeology, 2010, Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 2: Architectural Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV362410.

An archaeological appraisal was undertaken of the impact of proposed alterations and reordering of the hotel including relocation of the swimming pool, relocation of the owner’s accommodation to former farm buildings, provision of a new service route along the line of an historic path to the south (rear) of the hotel, alterations to the restaurants and reordering of the stores at the rear of the hotel.
Most of the hotel fabric dates from its construction as a military hospital in 1809-10 with some additions made in the later 19th century and during the 20th century when the rear courtyards were largely infilled and new dining and function rooms added to the north and east sides of the building. Assessment of the building concluded that the reordering of the service areas together with other landscaping changes to the grounds could potentially have a positive impact on the setting of the hotel. See report for full details.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

Berry Head Hotel marked.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1293258 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Berry Head Hotel. Military hospital; later a private house, now an hotel.1809-10; late C20 additions to north. Later the home of the Revd H. F. Lyte, author of the hymn'Abide with Me'.
See listing description for further details.
Date first listed: 18th October 1949.
Date of most recent amendment: 18th October 1993

Sources / Further Reading

SDV318548Record Office Collection: Ordnance Office and War Office. 1831-1848. MPHH 1/692. Public Record Office Collection. Map (Paper).
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 64.
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV352727Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1953-1969. 1953-1969 National Grid OS A edition imperial. Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
SDV362409Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2010. Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Archaeology. 10.05. Digital.
SDV362410Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2010. Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 2: Architectural Assessment. Exeter Archaeology. 10.06. Hardcopy + Digital.
SDV362418List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1975. Borough of Torbay. Historic Houses Register. 4.
SDV362423Article in Serial: Waterfield, R.. 1932. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. . 64. 42-43.
SDV362493Report - Survey: Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D.. 1990. Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. EMAFU 90.10. Hardcopy + Digital. 9.
Linked documents:1
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 8, 15, 16, Fig. 8, Pl. 14.
Linked documents:1
SDV362520Monograph: County Borough of Torbay. 1967. Berry Head. Berry Head. Paperback. 21.
SDV362521Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1996. Berry Head Hotel, Brixham: An Archaeological Survey. Exeter Archaeology. 96.55. Hardcopy + Digital.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #115332 Based on extent shown on SDV336179, ]
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1293258.

Associated Monuments

MDV52604Parent of: Limekiln to south of Berry Head Hotel, Brixham (Monument)
MDV130249Related to: Burials in the garden of Berry Head Hotel, Brixham (Monument)
MDV130884Related to: Glass wine bottle seal, Berry Head Hotel, Brixham (Find Spot)
MDV84448Related to: Monument to the west of the Berry Head Hotel, Brixham (Monument)
MDV42884Related to: Old Hospital at Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7838 - Archaeological Survey of Berry Head Hotel
  • EDV7960 - Berry Head Hotel, Brixham, Archaeological & Architectural Assessment 2010

Date Last Edited:Jun 11 2021 5:41PM