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HER Number:MDV127684
Name:Dartmouth Castle

Summary

The waterside castle has been key to the defence of Dartmouth Haven since it was first constructed in the 14th century. A chain boom defended by a gun tower was set up in the 15th century. Adjoining gun platforms were added in the 16th century and the defences continued to be modified until the 20th century.
The 15th century gun tower and adjoining 16th century gun platforms were scheduled as an ancient monument in 1909 although they were pressed into military service during both World Wars. Dartmouth Point Battery and the remains of the 14th century castle were added to the scheduling in 1955.
See associated monuments for details of individual buildings and features.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 886 502
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOWNSTAL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Tide Project: 16/04/2020

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CASTLE (Built, XIV to XVI - 1301 AD to 1600 AD (Between))

Full description

Blatchford, C, 2016, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV359708.

Sharpe, A., 2016, Dartmouth Castle, Devon. Conservation Management Plan 2016 (Report - Assessment). SDV361934.

Management plan summarising the known historical development of Dartmouth Castle and the adjoining sites, identifies their significances, both national and locally. It describes the history, form and condition of its components and sets out a conservation philosophy for its future management. Issues affecting the site are identified, together with opportunities for its future development and presentation.
The waterside castle has been key to the defence of Dartmouth Haven since it was first constructed in the 14th century. A chain boom was set up in the 15th century which could be raised to prevent enemy shipping entering the harbour, and defended by a gun tower, the first artillery tower of its type. The chain was anchored on the opposite bank near the fort at Godmerock. Developments in ship-borne artillery led to the construction of a seaward facing battery which was rebuilt and re-armed to meet real and perceived threats over the succeeding centuries. The last coastal defence at Dartmouth was set up in 1940.
The 15th century gun tower and adjoining 16th century gun platforms were scheduled as an ancient monument in 1909 although they were pressed into military service during both World Wars. Dartmouth Point Battery and the remains of the 14th century castle were added to the scheduling in 1955.
The components of Dartmouth Castle illustrate well the evolution of coastal defences in response to developments in sea-borne armament. Many elements of the castle are considered to be of architectural signifcance particularly the 15th century gun tower. It has strong communal links with the town, having protected this port, naval anchorage and haven of refuge since the Middle Ages and its particular picturesque location at the entrance to the harbour, flanked by wooded cliffs also means that it has considerable aesthetic significance.
See report for full details including gazetteer for descriptions of individual elements.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV359708Report - Watching Brief: Blatchford, C. 2016. Dartmouth Castle, Devon. AC Archaeology. ACD1388/2/0. Digtial.
SDV361934Report - Assessment: Sharpe, A.. 2016. Dartmouth Castle, Devon. Conservation Management Plan 2016. Cornwall Archaeological Unit. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #124613 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV8519Parent of: Artillery fort at Dartmouth Castle (Building)
MDV71169Parent of: Belvedere at Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV74882Parent of: Boundary markers at Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV8565Parent of: Clifton Mansion, Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV55300Parent of: Coastal Battery, Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV23649Parent of: Dartmouth Castle Tearooms (Building)
MDV127678Parent of: Dock and Water Gate at Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV19561Parent of: Hawley's Fortalice, Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV17431Parent of: Medieval Chapel of St Patrick in Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV71167Parent of: Northern gun platform at Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV112221Parent of: Pillbox to the north of Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV71168Parent of: Southern gun platform at Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV8531Parent of: St Petrox Parish Church, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV127771Related to: Concrete platform below the coastal battery, Dartmouth Point (Monument)
MDV127773Related to: Landing Place, Dartmouth Castle (Monument)
MDV71170Related to: Telephone Kiosk at Dartmouth Castle (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV696 - Archaeological Watching Brief During Bridge Removal at Dartmouth Castle
  • EDV697 - Dartmouth Castle: Phase 2 Condition Survey Works
  • EDV698 - Tree Ring Analysis of Oak Timbers from Dartmouth Castle
  • EDV7035 - Monitoring and Recording, Dartmouth Castle, Devon (Ref: ACD1388)

Date Last Edited:Apr 16 2020 8:23AM