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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.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 5-6, 11, 13-14 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

Limestone was being quarried here by the mid 18th century when D. Milles compiled his 'Parochial History of Devon' (1747-62). At this time the stone was taken for both lime and as building stone from both the north and south sides of the headland and also from several scratch quarries along the headland towards Brixham.
There is no evidence that there were any stone-loading quays, boats being presumably loaded directly from the shore. A number of the quarries were rendered unusable by the presence of the gun batteries established 1779-1783. In 1828 the Board of Ordnance halted quarrying on both flanks of Fort No. 3, as it was considered to be undermining the defences. A local petition, however, asserted that up to 50 sloops and lighters were involved in transporting the limestone from the quarries to Topsham. Quarrying resumed, on the north side only, shortly after and continued into the 20th century.

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.

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).
SDV354635Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1973. K17-AD. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 128-130.
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 Report. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 5-6, 11, 13-14.
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:Oct 28 2020 9:16AM