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HER Number:MDV16265
Name:Berry Head Quarry, Brixham

Summary

Limestone was being quarried here by the mid 18th century and was used for both lime for agricultural purposes and for building stone. Initially stone was taken from both sides of the headland but following a short period of closure in 1828, because it was considered that the works were undermining the defences of the fort, quarrying was allowed on the north side only. The quarry operated until 1969 by which time much of the northern side of the fort had been removed.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 944 566
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Civil ParishTorbay
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/38
  • Torbay HER: MTO16265

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • QUARRY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Worth, R. N., 1875, The Economic Geology of Devon (Article in Serial). SDV24522.

Beer Head Quarry was a soure of lime for agricultural use as well as building stone.

Appleton, E., 1875, The Economic Geology of Devon, 236 (Article in Serial). SDV217610.

One of the best known limestone quarries in Devon.

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

Berry Head Quarry marked.

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

Three cranes are marked along the coastal edge of the quarry.

Ordnance Survey, 1938, 122SE. Revision of 1936-1937 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV337463.

Berry Head Quarry marked.

Cambridge University, 1973, K17-AD, 128-130 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354635.

An aerial photograph taken in 1973 shows the quarries shortly after final closure.

Evans, D., 1986, South Devon Limekilns, 3, 4 (Un-published). SDV351742.

Moore’s History of Devonshire, 1829, records that the limestone from the quarry supplied kilns on the Teign, Exe and adjoining coast.
The importance of the lime industry to the local economy can be ascertained from the petition drawn up when the quarries were temporarily closed in 1828 due to the fact that the fort defences were being damaged. The petition claimed that some 50 sloops and lighters were employed shipping the limestone to Topsham and other places.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 1, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 35, 36 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

Limestone has been quarried from Berry Head for lime and for building stone since at least the mid 18th century. Quarrying originally took place on both sides of the headland. It seems to have continued throughout the construction and occupancy of the forts, and probably provided much of the building stone. It is recorded in a report of 1828 that some 200-400 bargeloads of stone had been taken yearly from the quarries on the north and south sides of Fort 3.
In 1828, however, concern was expressed that quarrying was literally undermining the defences and it was halted by the Board of Ordnance. It resumed again following local protest, although on a more limited basis on the northern side of the fort only. Quarrying finally ceased in 1969, when Torbay Borough Council purchased the headland and converted it into a Country Park.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 4, 7, 8 (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

Limestone for both lime and building stone was quarried from both the southern and northern flanks of the promontory from at least the mid 18th century. Boats appear to have been loaded directly from the shore, there being no reference to purpose-built quays. Some of the `scratch quarries' along the northern flank of the headland towards Brixham may also have been worked at this time. Six quarries were recorded in 1783 as being rendered useless by the presence of the batteries.
Quarrying was halted for a short time in August 1828. When it resumed at the end of that year it was
only permitted within clearly defined limits on the northern flank, in order to prevent the defences of Fort No. 3 from being undermined. Quarrying continued until 1969 when the headland was purchased by Torbay Borough Council. By that time much of the northern side of the fort had been removed.

Bowman, A. C., 1998, British Quarrying History. Devon, 21 (Monograph). SDV71598.

Limestone quarry. Hunts mineral statistics for 1858 state that it was 'used principally for lime. Price from 1/- to 1/6 per ton'. It was owned by the Crown in 1858 (producing 5000 tonnes). It was still operated by the Crown in 1896. In 1937 it was operated by Heywood & Sons.

Exeter Archaeology, 2010, Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment, 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV362409.

Berry Head was quarried for lime and building stone from at least the mid 18th century and provided much of the stone used to build the fortifications there. The quarry operated until 1969 when the headland was bought by Torbay Council and turned into a country park.

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

Berry Head Quarry (dis) marked.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV217610Article in Serial: Appleton, E.. 1875. The Economic Geology of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 7. Digital. 236.
SDV24522Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1875. The Economic Geology of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 7. Digital.
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).
SDV337463Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 122SE. Revision of 1936-1937 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV351742Un-published: Evans, D.. 1986. South Devon Limekilns. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3, 4.
SDV354635Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1973. K17-AD. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 128-130.
SDV362409Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2010. Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Archaeology. 10.05. Digital. 4.
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. 4, 7, 8.
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. 1, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 35, 36.
Linked documents:1
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #127134 ]
SDV71598Monograph: Bowman, A. C.. 1998. British Quarrying History. Devon. British Quarrying History. Devon. Unknown. 21.

Associated Monuments

MDV105449Parent of: Industrial Structures at Berry Head Quarry, Brixham (Monument)
MDV20080Related to: Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jun 11 2021 4:40PM