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HER Number:MDV17378
Name:Brownhill Battery, Staddon Heights, Wemnbury

Summary

Brownhill Battery, built circa 1869 to protect the Staddon Heights position from land attack. Designed for 14 guns.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 494 510
Map Sheet:SX45SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWembury
Civil ParishWembury
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishPLYMSTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX45SE/43

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ARTILLERY FORT (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

BOVEY, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156067.

Brownhill battery. Part of the palmerstonian defences of plymouth. Protecting the fort from attack by land (bovey).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156071.

Hogg, i. V. /coast defences of england and wales 1856-1956/(1974)203-4.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156072.

Osa=sx45se123.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156073.

Des=bovey, r. /as above(1982).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156074.

Des=plymouth fortress survey/pye, a.(1992)/copy and plan in smr.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156075.

Pro=zhc1/2577/(1860)/royal commission report.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156076.

Pro=zhl1/1884/(1869)/report of parliamentary commission.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156077.

Des=mod armament tables/(1893)/in mod whitehall library.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156078.

Des=mod armament tables/(1885)/in mod whitehall library.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156079.

Pro=wo78/623/(1872)/1:2500 map, war dept.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156080.

Pro=wo78/2314/(1896)/1:2500 map, war dept.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156081.

Des=map/(1870) with c 1894 additions/in plymouth proprietory library.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156082.

Des=saunders, a. /(c1990)/ms notes.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156083.

Woodward, f. W. /plymouth's defences/(1990)18,20,45, fig f.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156084.

Des=woodward, f. /forts or follies/(1997).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156085.

Des=pye, a. + woodward, f. /the historic defences of plymouth/(1996)203-205.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV156086.

Aph=dap/ut 3-5(10/1/1992).


HOGG, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV163257.

Built c.1869, planned as a simple open work to mount 14 guns (hogg).


PLYMOUTH FORTRESS SURVEY, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV27236.

This forms part of the 1860s staddon heights position, protecting it from land attack. Its guns covered the valley now occupied by bovisand lodge and extending up to the verge of down thomas to the south-east. It was designed in 1860 for 14 guns with three expense magazines. In 1885 it was armed with eight 64-pounder rml guns and in 1893 with six 8" rml howitzers. In 1879 it was used to store gun-cotton for use in submarine mines. It was abandoned by the mod c.1900 (plymouth fortress survey).


English Heritage, 10/02/2014, Staddon Heights Defences, including Fort Staddon, Brownhill Battery, Watch House Battery, Staddon Heights Battery, Staddon Battery and associated features and structures. (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV356311.

Brownhill Battery is an important and rare surviving example of a half-moon wing battery, retaining much of its structure including its gorge wall and gun loops, embankments and some ancillary structures. Only 70 forts and batteries were built under the Royal Commission of 1860, meaning that they are a select group in themselves. Wing batteries of this type and plan are rare, a comparable example being those at Fort Burgoyne, Dover (Scheduled Monument KE 191). Brownhill Battery has strong potential to retain information of the construction methods of these defences, particularly on the embankment to the east where an unknown number of magazines and other structures are understood to remain beneath the undergrowth. As with the other structures in this assessment it has strong group value and, with the exception of Frobisher Battery, the original extent and armaments of the battery are well-documented. Taken as a whole, these military works present a rare grouping of nationally-important monuments with a rich and multi-layered history that is inherent in their interconnectedness and shared historic use. The structures within the proposed boundary all meet the criteria for scheduling.


Historic England, 2016, Damage to Monuments, Unlicensed Detecting and Unauthorised Works to Monuments (Report - Assessment). SDV360041.

Damage to Monuments, including unlicensed detecting and unauthorised works to Monuments.
Considerable earth moving on the site with imported material up to c. 1.2m in depth levelled to form a new surface layer above original. New layer seemingly seeded with grass. Work undertaken very recently (probably within the last month).
Externally, adjacent to entrance, a series of steps have recently been cut into the fort rampart to allow easier access for golfers. There are some indications that this work may be ongoing.


Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2017, South Cornwall Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment, 1069 (Interpretation). SDV360825.

Brownhill Battery dates to the late 19th century and was built to defend the outer lines of the Staddon Heights military complex.


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Earthworks of battery shown.


Vulliamy, C., 21/01/2015, Brownhill Battery: Dumping and Cutting into Military Bank (Ground Photograph). SDV358589.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV156067Migrated Record: BOVEY.
SDV156071Migrated Record:
SDV156072Migrated Record:
SDV156073Migrated Record:
SDV156074Migrated Record:
SDV156075Migrated Record:
SDV156076Migrated Record:
SDV156077Migrated Record:
SDV156078Migrated Record:
SDV156079Migrated Record:
SDV156080Migrated Record:
SDV156081Migrated Record:
SDV156082Migrated Record:
SDV156083Migrated Record:
SDV156084Migrated Record:
SDV156085Migrated Record:
SDV156086Aerial Photograph:
SDV163257Migrated Record: HOGG.
SDV27236Migrated Record: PLYMOUTH FORTRESS SURVEY.
SDV356311List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 10/02/2014. Staddon Heights Defences, including Fort Staddon, Brownhill Battery, Watch House Battery, Staddon Heights Battery, Staddon Battery and associated features and structures.. Amendment to Schedule. Digital.
SDV358589Ground Photograph: Vulliamy, C.. 21/01/2015. Brownhill Battery: Dumping and Cutting into Military Bank. Digital.
SDV360041Report - Assessment: Historic England. 2016. Damage to Monuments, Unlicensed Detecting and Unauthorised Works to Monuments. Historic England. 74776.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82038 ]
SDV360825Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2017. South Cornwall Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. RCZAS. Digital. 1069.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7204 - Staddon Heights Defences: Damage to Monuments, unlicensed detecting and unauthorised works to Monuments. (Ref: 74776)

Date Last Edited:Jul 30 2019 3:27PM