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HER Number:MDV20
Name:Brazen Ward, Lundy


Site of 16th/17th century fortification.


Grid Reference:SS 139 468
Map Sheet:SS14NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLundy
Ecclesiastical ParishLUNDY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS14NW/5
  • Old SAM County Ref: 737
  • Old SAM Ref: 27640
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS14NW/SW4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (XVI to XVII - 1501 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Chanter, J. R., 1871, History of Lundy, 561 (Article in Serial). SDV6914.

Loyd, L.R.W., 1925, Lundy, 30-31 (Monograph). SDV8360.

Langham, A. + M., 1960, Untitled Source, 82 (Monograph). SDV6870.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1962 - 1977, SS14NW/SW4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV344712.

Site visit: 18th may 1969. A civil war battery constructed on the end of a short rocky promontory on the north east coast and some 50 feet above sea level. The remains comprise the gun platform in the most commanding position, revetted on the seaward side with drystone walling and paved below, and 40 metres to the north are the foundations of a small rectangular building. Running south from the building erected along edge of a rock shelf is a substantial wall 3 metres high on seaward side and 2 metres high internally, with a thickness of 1 metre. This wall curves into the slope below the gun platform. From south side of the platform, the footings of a similar dry stone wall extend southwest across steep slopes for some 30 metres and terminate above a gulley. Behind and above this wall is the old quarry where the stone for the battery was obtained.

Anonymous, 1965 - 1966, Untitled Source, 32 (Article in Serial). SDV8367.

Gardner, K. S., 1967, Untitled Source, 21 (Article in Serial). SDV6937.

A survey of the 17th century military works here was carried out by the Lundy Field Society in 1967. Brazen Ward was built by William, First viscount Saye and Sele probably in 1646 and mounted with brass canon. It was destroyed by the French circa 1695.

Gardner, K. S., 1968, Lundy Archaeological Investigations 1967, 41-44 (Article in Serial). SDV6944.

Other details: Plan.

Hurst, D. G., 1968, Untitled Source, 175-176 (Article in Serial). SDV8366.

Ministry of Public Building and Works, 1969, Lundy Brazen Ward, Remains of Battery (Schedule Document). SDV344711.

Two lengths of drystone wall overlooking cove. Both are strongly built, 3-5 feet wide, the longer about 10 feet high. Excavation behind the walls has shown that they are probably pre-17th century or mid 16th century. A fort was erected here in the time of Charles I which was furnished with a brass cannon. Local tradition commemorates this circumstance in the title of the Brazen Ward still applied to this point. The old brass guns are said to be visible ini calm weather, deep in the water where they were thrown by the French when they took posession of the island in the reign of William III.

Gardner, K. S., 1972, Untitled Source, 5, 22-23 (Monograph). SDV5837.

National Trust, 1989, Lundy, Devon. Vol. One, 30-31/101,050+051 (Report - Survey). SDV1275.

National Trust, 1989, Lundy, Devon. Vol. Two, 165 (Report - Survey). SDV344019.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Gun Battery at Brazen Ward, Lundy (Schedule Document). SDV344713.

The monument includes a gun battery situated on the end of a short rocky promontory 15 metres above the shorline on Lundy's east side. It was constructed to prevent landing in the bay to the north and the shore immediately to the south, including the area known as Threequarter Wall bay. There are two main structures. The first, on the northern side, comprises a possible powder store and stronghold with a gun embrasure and a strong retaining wall. The second, a weaker structure to the south, has a wall around a promontory and a retaining wall with a small guardhouse built into the cliff. The cliff behind each feature is quarried back to form the platforms for the battery.
The northern building survives up to 1.75 metres high and meatures 6 metres by 3 metres internally. This has a strong outer wall on the east side which extends to the north of the building to form a parapet with a gun embrasure. It then doubles back to form a three-sided rectangular chamber. The outer wall is 2.35 metres thick and the chamber measures 4 metres by 4 metres internally. This suggests an emplacement for a single cannon with a powder store beside it. To the north a wall, 1.4 metres thick continues for 15 metres before meeting the cliff side. The ground behind this has been quarried into the cliff and levelled. To the south, beyond a break where it appears to have collapsed, the wall continued, retaining a 4 metre wide platform. This wall stands up to 1.75 metres high suggesting a parapet for muskets rather than a platform for cannon.
The second, weaker structure is 15 metres to the south of these defences. This consists of a walled and flagged area on a natural projection facing east and about 5 metres wide and 9 metres deep. To the south is a further wall, partly fallen away and following the line of the cliff edge for about 40 metres. Behind it to the west the cliff has been quarried back to make a platform some 4 metres wide. There are the remains of a small rectangular building set into the cliff at the north end. This was possibly a guard house, measuring 2 metres by 2 metres externally. The battery was partly excavated in 1967.
The battery was constructed during the 16th or early 17th century and remains largely intact, despite some localised erosion. Part excavation of the site in 1967 demonstrated the survival of buried archaeological remains.

National Trust, 2002, The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide (Monograph). SDV7235.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1275Report - Survey: National Trust. 1989. Lundy, Devon. Vol. One. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. 1. A4 Stapled + Digital. 30-31/101,050+051.
SDV344019Report - Survey: National Trust. 1989. Lundy, Devon. Vol. Two. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 165.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82650 ]
SDV344711Schedule Document: Ministry of Public Building and Works. 1969. Lundy Brazen Ward, Remains of Battery. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV344712Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962 - 1977. SS14NW/SW4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV344713Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Gun Battery at Brazen Ward, Lundy. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV5837Monograph: Gardner, K. S.. 1972. The Archaeology of Lundy. Photocopy + Digital. 5, 22-23.
SDV6870Monograph: Langham, A. + M.. 1960. Lundy, Bristol Channel. Unknown. 82.
SDV6914Article in Serial: Chanter, J. R.. 1871. History of Lundy. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. Unknown. 561.
SDV6937Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1967. Archaeological Review. 2. Unknown. 21.
SDV6944Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1968. Lundy Archaeological Investigations 1967. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 19. Unknown. 41-44.
SDV7235Monograph: National Trust. 2002. The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide. The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide. A5 Paperback.
SDV8360Monograph: Loyd, L.R.W.. 1925. Lundy. History of Lundy. Unknown. 30-31.
SDV8366Article in Serial: Hurst, D. G.. 1968. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 2. Unknown. 175-176.
SDV8367Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1965 - 1966. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 17. Unknown. 32.

Associated Monuments

MDV14260Parent of: Brazen Ward Powder Magazine, Lundy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 27 2010 9:12AM