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HER Number:MDV123787
Name:Battery Gardens, Brixham: Furzdon/Fishcombe Battery

Summary

5-gun embrasured battery established 1779 and manned until 1783; reactivated 1794-1817. Site used by Artillery Volunteers mid-late 19th century, partially cleared in 1940 to allow clear field of fire for 4.7" guns.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 921 569
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Torbay HER: MTO44415

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (XVIII to World War I - 1779 AD to 1914 AD (Between))

Full description

Torbay HER record (SMR record). SDV361984.

The Board of Ordnance, following the declarations of war by France in 1778 and Spain in 1779 in support of the American War of Independence, issued orders for the construction of four batteries of 24-pounder cannon for the defence of Torbay to counter the threat of invasion by France. As part of the major Berry Head fortifications (qv. SX95NW/3) an embrasured 5-gun emplacement "Furzedon Battery" was constructed 1779-80 at Fishcombe Point; the 50th Regiment of Foot was encamped on Furzeham Common behind. [1][2][3] Contemporary plans in Pye [2] and Pye and Slater [3]. The battery armament was 20- or 24-pounder cannon. In 1783 the guns from all the Berry Head batteries were withdrawn to Plymouth with the exception of those at Fishcombe.

In 1794 the fortifications along the southern edge of Torbay were re-activated and the Berry Head Forts designed. The Fischcombe Battery armament from 1795-1817 was either 24- or 32-pounder cannon. An inspection of 1811 revealed only 4 guns were actually in place. [3]. The site of the late 18 th century/Napoleonic battery is probably the same as that of the mid-19C battery shown on the First edition OS 1:2500, only a low bank remains extant. Neither limestone parapet or gun platform is visible. A remnant of the former may be concealed within the bank, and the latter may lie below the racer of the mid-19C gun (below).

The batteries at the Berry Head Forts were dismantled in 1817; it is unclear whether Fishcombe was similarly dismantled or what use it was put to over the next 30-35 years. An Admiralty chart surveyed in 1852 and published in 1857 marks a 'Practice Battery' at Fishcombe Cove; gun drill is reported there in 1860. Local artillery volunteers were drilling with a 32 lb SB and a 64 lb gun in 1892. [4]. Remnants of the racers of the mid-19th century practice guns are still visible, the rear one partially obscured by a modern concrete bench [3][4].

The site must have been partially levelled to allow a clear field of fire from the 1940 battery's chief armament: 2 separate 4.7" naval guns locatde immediately behind.

<1> Evans, D., 1986, The History of the Berry Head Fortifications, p.12,13 (Un-published). SDV362495.

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<2> Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, p.4; figs 2, 3, 5, 6.3, 7, 8 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

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<3> Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, pp.3, 26; figs 1, 2, 5; plate 32 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

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<4> Phil Newman, 2001, Battery Gardens, Brixham, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, pp. 2-3; pl 2 (Report - Survey). SDV362290.

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Sources / Further Reading

SDV361984SMR record: Torbay HER record.
SDV362495Un-published: Evans, D.. 1986. The History of the Berry Head Fortifications. . Manuscript. p.12,13.
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. p.4; figs 2, 3, 5, 6.3, 7, 8.
Linked documents:1
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. pp.3, 26; figs 1, 2, 5; plate 32.
Linked documents:1
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. p.4; figs 2, 3, 5, 6.3, 7, 8.
Linked documents:1
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. pp.3, 26; figs 1, 2, 5; plate 32.
Linked documents:1
SDV362290Report - Survey: Phil Newman. 2001. Battery Gardens, Brixham, Devon: An Archaeological Survey. pp. 2-3; pl 2.

Associated Monuments

MDV124001Parent of: Battery Gardens, Brixham: War Department Boundary stone No. 5 (Monument)
MDV124000Parent of: Battery Gardens, Brixham: War Department Boundary stone No. 8 (Monument)
MDV124002Parent of: Battery Gardens. Brixham: Range Finder Column (Monument)
MDV123750Part of: Battery Gardens, Fishcombe Road/Northfields Lane, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44415Related to: BATTERY in the Parish of (Monument)
MDV123654Related to: Castle Hill Battery, Berry Head Fortifications, Brixham (Monument)
MDV20088Related to: Hardy's Head Battery, Berry Head (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7848 - Archaeological Survey by Phil Newman - May 2001

Date Last Edited:Sep 10 2020 4:20PM