HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV20080
Name:No. 3 Artillery Fort, Berry Head

Summary

The northernmost of two forts built on Berry Head in 1803-1805. Three were originally planned but only two were built, the other being No. 1. Fort No. 3 was the main fortification, its redoubt and perimeter walls enclosing some 16 acres. The buildings within were demolished circa 1820 but structural and earthwork remains of the eighteenth to nineteenth century coastal fort are visible on aerial photographs from the 1940s to 2012. The photographs provide a good resource to track the incremental encroachment of Berry Head Quarry into the north of the fort between 1946 and 1969.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 944 565
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 447527
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/4
  • Old SAM County Ref: 245
  • Tide Project: 31/07/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO20080

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ARTILLERY FORT (Built, XIX - 1803 AD to 1805 AD (Between))

Full description

Griffith, F. M., 10/07/1990, DAP/SS, 9-10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV177423.

Ordnance Office and War Office, 1801-1811, Ordnance Office and War Office: Miscellaneous entry books and papers. Engineer papers. Plymouth district, WO 55/797 (Record Office Collection). SDV317543.

Ordnance Office and War Office, 1830-1848, Ordnance Office and War Office: Correspondence. Berry Head, WO 44/12 (Record Office Collection). SDV317541.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 3209-3210 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351061.

The ramparts, moat and many of the internal features are clearly visible as structures and earthworks. Map object partly based on this source.

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

No. 3 fort, Berry Head (in Torbay Borough County Country Park). One of two forts built on Berry Head in 1803-1805. Three forts were planned originally but in the event only two were built.
The government purchased 27 acres of land on Berry Head in 1794 and a number of wooden huts and probably Half Moon Battery were erected soon after. An admiralty signal station was set up in 1795, but work on No. 3 fort did not start until 1803.
No. 3 fort was the main fortification on Berry Head with its redoubt and perimeter walls enclosing some 16 acres. The fort had eight barrack blocks, each with its own kitchen, latrine, well and coal store. Other buildings included regimental store, officers mess, guard room and the hospital, which was replaced by a new hospital in 1809. The buildings were built in stone or in timber with slate-hanging. They were dismantled in about 1820 and the site was then returned to civilian use.
A plan of Berry Head in 1967 shows features of No. 3 fort which can still be traced and this can be compared with the plan of the original layout of the fort.

Ordnance Survey, 1969, OS/69293, NMR/OS/69293 V 022 28-JUN-1969 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352593.

A large area of the northern part of the fort has been quarried away and the quarry has reached its fullest extent.

Cambridge University, 1973, CUC/K17, AD 128-30 (Aerial Photograph). SDV362017.

Much of the northern part of the fort has been quarried away since the time of decommissioning in 1817 and the closure of the quarry in 1969.

Cambridge University, 1976, RC8 BK, CUCAP RC8 BK 208 02-JUN-1976 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354625.

The foundations of some of the remaining buildings are clearly visible as pale parchmarks, showing the internal layout of the structures.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/HQ, 7-13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV337326.

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

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

No. 3 fort defended the main sea-facing batteries and housed the bulk of the garrison. A massive redoubt of stone walls and ditch divided the neck of the headland from the common to the west and was flanked north and south by musketry walls. The enclosure of 16 acres so formed housed numerous buildings including a guardhouse, field train shed, artillery store, stable block, magazine and eight prefabricated barracks with their own kitchens, latrines, wells and coal stores. The barracks are early example of the use of partially prefabricated buildings,

Evans, D., 1988, The fortification of Berry Head, 13-17 (Article in Serial). SDV317540.

An early example of the use of partially prefabricated buildings

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 6-15 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

Breihan, J. R., 1990, Army barracks in Devon during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, 133, 141-3, 148-9, 151, 153-5 (Article in Serial). SDV336175.

Article includes the organisation of the forts.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 8, 14-25, Figs 11-12 (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

An archaeological survey of the remains of the Napoleonic fortifications at Berry Head, 1795-1815; one of the most complete examples of this date and type in south-west England.
A plan of Fort Number 3 is included. Much of the northern part of the fort has been quarried away.

Griffith, F. M., 1990, DAP/QH, 5-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV339225.

Griffith, F. M., 1990, DAP/TW, 7-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342910.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX9456_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

Some areas have scrubbed up, but the rampart structure is clearly visible. Map object partly based on this source.

Gaimster, M., 2011, Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon, 10 (Article in Serial). SDV361542.

A.J. Passmore and M. Leverett (Exeter Archaeology) recorded structures within two Napoleonic-era forts. Work in Fort 3 explored the development of the guardhouse and the WW2/Cold War Royal Observer Corp building. Excavations behind the guardhouse uncovered parts of two further structures (one timber-framed), and mid-19th century rubbish pits. A short length of tunnel forming part of a drainage system was also uncovered (citing Exeter Archaeology Report 10.73).

Armitage, P. L., 2012, Archaeological Evidence of Fish in the Diet of the Garrison at the Berry Head Forts, Brixham (Torbay) 1794-1817, with Special Reference to European hake Merluccius merluccius, 196 – 210 (Article in Serial). SDV361575.

Post-excavation analysis of animal bones from late 18th-19th century military refuse deposits provides evidence of fish in the garrison diet and also evidence of change of age and size of hake stocks following post-industrial commercial fishing.

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

The late eighteenth to early twentieth century fort number 3 at Berry Head is clearly visible on aerial photographs from 1946 to 2012, as earthwork banks and cut terraces and numerous structures. Many of those on the sunken terrace on the northern side have since been quarried away, and others have become less visible due to vegetation cover. Although much of the fort is depicted on the base mapping, other parts are visible in greater detail on the aerial photographs and some additional features are visible, so these have been transcribed. Some surrounding features have also been mapped to provide context but most extant buildings and roofless structures on the base map have not been transcribed. Most of the transcriptions are based on the 1946 aerial photographs. In addition to the massive defensive walls and bank, with gun platforms and openings, many of the internal structures depicted on historic plans (see Pye & Slater 1990) are visible as low ruins or earthwork mounds. The internal plans of some of the barracks and the structure south-west of the guardhouse are clearly visible on aerial photographs taken in the hot summer of 1976, but also on non-drought years. A pit at circa SS9434156462 is also visible on this run of photographs, with a mound of what appears to be spoil on the south-east side against the outer edge of the southern wall. This is likely to be from excavations of the tunnels south of the guardhouse. Additional features to those already on the Torbay HER include probable Second World War structures such as two small roughly square buildings, possibly lookouts, on the southern part of the rampart, an adjacent gun platform, and two rectangular platforms at circa SX9434555576 and SX9432656555, perhaps the bases for temporary military structures, and recorded separately. A rectangular pit in the centre of the fort at circa SX9446056529 is likely to be a cistern and this pit appears to have been deliberately reused for the underground monitoring post established in 1960.

Watts, M., 2020, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Ground Photograph). SDV363853.

Photos of buildings and structures within the former Napoleonic fort.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1017322 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Berry Head Fort and battery and Hardy's Head Battery.
The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes Berry Head Fort and battery and Hardy's Head Battery. Berry Head Fort was a heavily defended garrisoned fort built around a half moon coastal battery constructed on the main promontory of Berry Head at the turn of the 19th century. This was in response to the repeated threats of an invasion by the French under Napoleon Bonaparte. Much of the defences of Berry Head Fort, its half moon coastal battery site, and some of its interior buildings have survived later quarrying of the headland for limestone. The ramparts, revetments, and walls of Berry Head Fort are Listed Grade II* whilst some of the other fort buildings in the interior are Listed Grade II. See scheduling description for full details.
Date first scheduled: 9th November 1950. Date of most recent amendment: 14th March 2000

War Office, Unknown, War Office and predecessors: Maps and plans. Great Britain. Devon, WO 78 MPH 381 5/6/7/8/9/10/11 (Record Office Collection). SDV317542.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV177423Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 10/07/1990. DAP/SS. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper) + Digital (Scan). 9-10.
SDV317540Article in Serial: Evans, D.. 1988. The fortification of Berry Head. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 5. Unknown. 13-17.
SDV317541Record Office Collection: Ordnance Office and War Office. 1830-1848. Ordnance Office and War Office: Correspondence. Berry Head. Public Record Office Collection. Unknown. WO 44/12.
SDV317542Record Office Collection: War Office. Unknown. War Office and predecessors: Maps and plans. Great Britain. Devon. Public Record Office Collection. Unknown. WO 78 MPH 381 5/6/7/8/9/10/11.
SDV317543Record Office Collection: Ordnance Office and War Office. 1801-1811. Ordnance Office and War Office: Miscellaneous entry books and papers. Engineer papers. Plymouth district. Public Record Office Collection. Unknown. WO 55/797.
SDV336175Article in Serial: Breihan, J. R.. 1990. Army barracks in Devon during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 122. A5 Paperback. 133, 141-3, 148-9, 151, 153-5.
SDV337326Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/HQ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 7-13.
SDV339225Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1990. DAP/QH. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-12.
SDV342910Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1990. DAP/TW. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper) + Digital (Scan). 7-9.
SDV351061Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 3209-3210 10-DEC-1946. [Mapped feature: #64905 ]
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 SX9456_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012.
SDV352593Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1969. OS/69293. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). NMR/OS/69293 V 022 28-JUN-1969.
SDV354625Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1976. RC8 BK. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). CUCAP RC8 BK 208 02-JUN-1976.
SDV361542Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2011. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 45. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10.
SDV361575Article in Serial: Armitage, P. L.. 2012. Archaeological Evidence of Fish in the Diet of the Garrison at the Berry Head Forts, Brixham (Torbay) 1794-1817, with Special Reference to European hake Merluccius merluccius. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 46.1. Unknown. 196 – 210.
SDV362017Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1973. CUC/K17. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). AD 128-30.
SDV362284Un-published: Evans, D. 1986. The Berry Head Forts. . Manuscript.
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. 8, 14-25, Figs 11-12.
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 Report. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 6-15.
Linked documents:1
SDV362520Monograph: County Borough of Torbay. 1967. Berry Head. Berry Head. Paperback.
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1017322.
SDV363853Ground Photograph: Watts, M.. 2020. Berry Head Fort No. 3. Digital.
Linked images:12

Associated Monuments

MDV20082Parent of: Artillery store at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Building)
MDV42873Parent of: Barrack 1, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42890Parent of: Barrack 2, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42891Parent of: Barrack 3, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42892Parent of: Barrack 4, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42886Parent of: Building to south of Barrack 2 and the store building, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42885Parent of: Building to the south of Barracks 3 and 4, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42887Parent of: Buildings to the south of Barrack 3, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42880Parent of: Cistern between Barrack 2 and store building, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42879Parent of: Cistern between Barracks 1 and 2, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42881Parent of: Cistern between the store building and Barrack 3, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42871Parent of: Coastguard lookout, formerly an artillery magazine, at Berry Head (Building)
MDV42875Parent of: Cold War Royal Observer Corps Post, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42883Parent of: Eastern tunnel system at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42889Parent of: Field train shed at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42872Parent of: Guardhouse at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Building)
MDV42877Parent of: Guardhouse on north side of Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV20085Parent of: Half Moon Battery, Berry Head (Monument)
MDV42878Parent of: Kitchen at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42894Parent of: Latrines at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42884Parent of: Old Hospital at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV9593Parent of: Redoubt at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV20081Parent of: Sentry Box at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV123992Parent of: Southern musketry wall at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42874Parent of: Store building, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42888Parent of: Walled garden at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42899Parent of: Well on northern side of Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV42882Parent of: Western tunnel system at Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Monument)
MDV123991Part of: Berry Head Fortifications, Brixham (Monument)
MDV105481Related to: Berry Head Fort Number 1 (Monument)
MDV9594Related to: Earthwork on Berry Head (Monument)
MDV107073Related to: Possible military structures at Berry Head (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)
  • EDV7832 - Documentary research on the Berry Head Fort
  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessments of the Berry Head Forts
  • EDV7929 - Evaluation at the Guardhouse at Berry Head Fort No. 3
  • EDV8093 - Watching Brief: BT Cable, Berry Head, Torbay (Ref: ACD734)
  • EDV8158 - Monitoring and Recording: Berry Head Lighthouse, Brixham (Ref: OA1575)
  • EDV7836 - Excavations by J. Horsley & J. Durston

Date Last Edited:Oct 9 2020 6:45PM