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HER Number:MDV19478
Name:Castle Hill Battery, Brixham

Summary

Site of a three gun battery built in the late 18th century on the site of an earlier fortification. It when out of use circa 1832 when the battery was relocated nearer to the shore. Now a patio in the garden of a bungalow. One of three batteries established on Berry Head following declarations of was by France and Spain in 1778-9 and reactivated in 1794-5. They were dismantled at the end of the Napoleonic War.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 936 566
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Civil ParishTorbay
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishTORBAY
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/50
  • Tide Project: 16/04/2021

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COASTAL BATTERY (XVIII to XIX - 1779 AD to 1832 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

'Old Battery' depicted as a semi-circular structure.

Royal Air Force, 1942, RAF/AC41, RAF/AC41 V 31-32 30-APR-1942 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352349.

Three flat probable structures are visible within a walled enclosure.

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2488, RAF/CPE/UK/2488 5204-5205 11-MAR-1948 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352767.

Three flat probable structures are visible within a walled enclosure.

Donn, B., 1965, A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint) (Monograph). SDV336413.

'Ruins of a Danish Castle' is marked to the south of 'Shorstone Point'.

County Borough of Torbay, 1967, Berry Head, 16,19 (Monograph). SDV362520.

Castle Battery (also known as Round Top) was built in early19th century on site of much earlier fortifications. This hilltop may have been site of one of Henry VIII's bulwarks. Castle battery was built with three guns on granite beds and was surrounded by substantial wall.

Hawkins, M.R., 1973, Berry Head Management Plan, Zone J (Report - Interim). SDV362518.

Evans, D, 1986, The Berry Head Forts (Un-published). SDV362284.

Evans, D., 1986, The History of the Berry Head Fortifications (Un-published). SDV362495.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 3, 5, 35, 36 + figs (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

A ‘Danish Castle’ is marked on Donn’s map of 1765 on the site of the later Castle Hill Battery above Ash Hole Cavern, described by subsequent writers as Roman or Anglo Saxon. The site became a three gun battery in 1780, one of three batteries built at that time to defend the Torbay anchorage. It was dismantled soon after 1783 but recommissioned circa 1794 as part of the Napoleonic defences. The original wooden gun platforms were replaced by ones of moorstone in 1809. The site is now part quarried away and overlain with a modern house, Round Top. See report for further details.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 2-7 + figs (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

Castle Hill Battery was completed 1780. It was decommissioned in 1783, at the end of the American War of Independence and reactivated in 1793, at the outbreak of the Napoleonic War. In 1832 there was a proposal to relocate the battery to a platform 'on the shore'.

Pancheri, C., 1995, Round Top, Victoria Road, Brixham (Site Visit). SDV362297.

The floor of the battery now forms the patio of Round Top. Sketch plan.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX9356_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

The internal features are not visible.

Exeter Archaeology, 2010, Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment, 2-3, 7 (Report - Assessment). SDV362409.

One of three batteries established on Berry Head following declarations of was by France and Spain in 1778-9 and reactivated in 1794-5. They were dismantled at the end of the Napoleonic War.
Castle Hill Battery comprises a semi circular platform with three gun platforms with a stone rubble retaining wall. It may have been built on the site of an earlier enclosure; the site is marked as 'Ruins of a Danish Castle' on Donn's map of 1765. It has now been partially quarried away and overlain by a modern house.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

The eighteenth century battery is visible as a structure on aerial photographs from 1942, circa 15 metres at maximum diameter, with three internal features enclosed by a curving wall. These are presumably the stone gun platforms, possibly trapezoidal in plan and measuring 2-3 by 4 metres each. They are not visible on the more recent aerial photographs in 2012 and may have been covered over.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Rounded patio visible which is the former base of the battery.

Historic England, 2021, National Heritage List for England, 1291760 (National Heritage List for England). SDV364016.

Gun battery immediately north of Round Top (not included). Gun battery, now patio. 1779-80 or 1794-5. Semi-circular platform on cliff-top overlooking the sea. On it are 3 wedge-shaped gun platforms of granite slabs. See listing description for full details.
Date first listed: 18th October 1993

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336413Monograph: Donn, B.. 1965. A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint). A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint). Hardback Volume.
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coastal Observatory SX9356_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012.
SDV352349Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1942. RAF/AC41. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/AC41 V 31-32 30-APR-1942.
SDV352767Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2488. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/2488 5204-5205 11-MAR-1948.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital).
SDV362284Un-published: Evans, D. 1986. The Berry Head Forts. . Manuscript.
SDV362297Site Visit: Pancheri, C.. 1995. Round Top, Victoria Road, Brixham. Unknown.
SDV362409Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2010. Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Archaeology. 10.05. Digital. 2-3, 7.
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. 2-7 + figs.
Linked documents:1
SDV362495Un-published: Evans, D.. 1986. The History of the Berry Head Fortifications. . Manuscript.
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 3, 5, 35, 36 + figs.
Linked documents:1
SDV362518Report - Interim: Hawkins, M.R.. 1973. Berry Head Management Plan. Parks Committee of the County Borough of Torbay. Zone J.
SDV362520Monograph: County Borough of Torbay. 1967. Berry Head. Berry Head. Paperback. 16,19.
SDV364016National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2021. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1291760.

Associated Monuments

MDV123991Part of: Berry Head Fortifications, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44415Related to: Fishcombe Point Battery (Monument)
MDV20088Related to: Hardy's Head Battery, Berry Head, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44738Related to: Shoalstone Point Battery, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)
  • EDV7960 - Berry Head Hotel, Brixham, Archaeological & Architectural Assessment 2010

Date Last Edited:Jun 11 2021 4:13PM