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HER Number:MDV20083
Name:Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham

Summary

The southern of two forts built on Berry Head in 1795-1807. Three were originally planned but only two were built, the other being No. 3. The No. 1 fort was protected by cliffs on south and east, had a wall and moat on north and a rampart similar to that of the No 3 fort on west. There were two batteries on the seaward site and locations of a number of military buildings within the fort are known. Substantial structural and earthwork remains survive and are visible on aerial photographs from the 1940s to 2012.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 941 561
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Civil ParishTorbay
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 447532
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/16
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)
  • Tide Project: 28/10/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO20083
  • Torbay HER: MTO20083

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ARTILLERY FORT (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1795 AD to 1802 AD (Between))

Full description

Torbay HER record (SMR record). SDV361984.

One of only two forts built, of the four envisaged, to protect the artillery batteries from a possible French coup de main. It encloses an area on the cliff edge approx 100m west to east, and 125m north to south. Primary documentary sources held in PRO were researched by Evans in 1986 [1] and [2].

A detailed archaeological assessment, and later an extensive archaeological survey were carried out by the Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit (EMAFU) in 1989 [3] and 1990 [4].

No. 1 fort defended the southern flank of the approach to Fort No. 3 (SX95NW/4). It is located on a small promontory approx 400m southwest of the main headland. Its defences and internal features survive mostly intact. A stone-revetted rampart forms a continuous enceinte on the three land-facing sides (SX95NW16/1) fronted by a dry moat with a stone counterscarp revetment; the two westfacing sections carried gun embrasures above; the north section the main gateway. On the sea-facing side a musketry wall, or garde-foux, seems to have been planned, but only only isolated portions survive. Inside, an enclosed area of 4 acres, were a number of buildings of which a guard- and satorehouse, a magazine, a kitchen, an oven house and a barrack block have been identified. Both barracks and batteries were dismantled in 1817. [3] The general organisation of Napoleonic barracks is discussed in Breihan. [4]

It has been asserted independently by Hawkins [6] and Horsley [7] that a parade ground levelled much of the interior of the fort for the use in the 1860s of the Devon Artillery Volunteers. Aerial photos of 1973 are lodged with English Nature. [8]

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV317564.

Breihan, j. R. /tda/122(1990)133,141-3,148-9,151,153-5/army barracks in devon during the french revolutionary and napoleonic wars.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV317565.

Evans, d. /dbg newsletter/5(1988)13-17/the fortification of berry head/fig.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV317566.

Pro=wo 44/12.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV317567.

Pro=wo 78 mph 381 5/6/7/8/9/10/11.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV317568.

Pro=wo 55 797.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV317572.

Evans, d. /the berry head forts/(<1989)/ms in pf.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV317575.

Aph=dap/ss 10(10/7/1990).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV317576.

Aph=dap/tw 6,7(23/9/1990).

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV327414.

South east redoubt is three-sided with stone revetment and roll moulded string below embrasure. Established in conjunction with berry head fort (sx95nw/4) during the napoleonic wars and now largely overgrown (doe).

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.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 349-50 (Monograph). SDV17562.

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

One of two forts built on Berry Head in 1803-1805. Three were originally planned but only two were built. They were dismantled in the 1920s. Fort No. 1 was protected by cliffs on the south and east, had a wall and moat on the north and a rampart similar to the No. 3 fort on the west. There were two batteries on the seaward side and the locations of a number of military buildings within the fort are known. Following the dismantling of the fort in the 1820s, the interior was levelled to form a parade ground for volunteers. The positions of the buildings were established by excavations by Brixham Museum in 1959-60.

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

Cambridge University, 1973, K17-AD (Aerial Photograph). SDV354635.

Department of Environment, 1975, Borough of Torbay, 3 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV362418.

The south-east redoubt is three-sided with a stone revetment and roll moulded string below the embrasures. It was established during the Napoleonic Wars and now largely overgrown.

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

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 9-14, Fig. 12 (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

The fort was built in 1795-1804 as a flanking defence for the approach to Fort No. 1. Its defences and internal features mostly survive intact. The defences comprise a stone revetted rampart with a moat on the three landward sides. The entrance is in the north-west side and both this and the south-west section have gun embrasures. Sections of musketry wall survive along the southern perimeter.

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

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

The structural and earthwork remains are clearly visible. Map object partly based on this source.

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

Brixham, Berry Head Fort 1 (SX 9433 5649) and Fort 3 (SX 94165 56122).
A.J. Passmore and M. Leverett (Exeter Archaeology) recorded structures within two Napoleonic-era forts. In Fort 1 were remains of the original drawbridge, building recording and excavation were also undertaken on and within the guardhouse, magazine and kitchen, revealing further details of their original layout, and their construction and development (citing Exeter Archaeology Report 10.73).

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 1 at Berry Head is clearly visible on aerial photographs from 1946 to 2012. 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. Some features depicted on the basemap have therefore been transcribed, mainly from the 2012 aerial photographs.
In addition to the stone revetted rampart with gun embrasures, many of the internal features previously surveyed by Pye & Slater (1990) are visible as ruinous structures and low earthworks. A small pale flat structure was visible at circa SS9417756076 to the east of the barrack block and may be the well or cistern capping recorded in the Torbay HER (MTO44729). The remains of the barracks themselves were indistinctly visible as low earthworks and possibly parchmarks, circa 30 by 7 metres in plan, on several runs of aerial photographs. A linear earthwork just to the north seems to mark the break of the slope down from the ramparts and has a probable return at its north-east point, forming what appears to be an L-shaped embanked feature in two parts.
No definite evidence was seen of the Second World War gun platforms recorded in the Torbay HER (MTO44730), although a 2 by 3 metre rectangular flat structure at circa SS9414456136 to the north-west of the suggested location was visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946. This may have had a military function as a stable base for machinery or a structure.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX95NW31 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV317561.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX95NW36 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV317570.

<1> Evans, D, 1986, The Berry Head Forts (Un-published). SDV362284.

X

<2> Evans, D., 1986, The History of the Berry Head Fortifications (Un-published). SDV362495.

X

<2> Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, p.6-13, 32 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

X

<5> Breihan, J.R., 1990, Transactions of the Devonshire Association, pp. 133-58 (Article in Serial). SDV362494.

X

<7> Horsley, J., 1988, A Short History of Brixham, p22 (Monograph). SDV362554.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 349-50.
SDV317561Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX95NW31. OSAD Card. Card Index.
SDV317564Migrated Record:
SDV317565Migrated Record:
SDV317566Migrated Record:
SDV317567Migrated Record:
SDV317568Migrated Record:
SDV317570Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX95NW36. OSAD Card. Card Index.
SDV317572Migrated Record:
SDV317575Aerial Photograph:
SDV317576Aerial Photograph:
SDV327414Migrated Record: Department of Environment.
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.
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.
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.
SDV354635Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1973. K17-AD. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper).
SDV361542Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2011. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 45. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV361984SMR record: Torbay HER record.
SDV362418List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1975. Borough of Torbay. Historic Houses Register. 3.
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. 9-14, Fig. 12.
Linked documents:1
SDV362518Report - Interim: Hawkins, M.R.. 1973. Berry Head Management Plan. Parks Committee of the County Borough of Torbay. Zone F.
SDV362520Monograph: County Borough of Torbay. 1967. Berry Head. Berry Head. Paperback.
SDV362284Un-published: Evans, D. 1986. The Berry Head Forts. . Manuscript.
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. p.6-13, 32.
Linked documents:1
SDV362494Article in Serial: Breihan, J.R.. 1990. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. . 122. pp. 133-58.
SDV362554Monograph: Horsley, J.. 1988. A Short History of Brixham. A Short History of Brixham. p22.

Associated Monuments

MDV123809Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Barracks (Building)
MDV123812Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Guard and Storehouse. (Building)
MDV123814Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Kitchen (Building)
MDV123813Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Magazine (Building)
MDV123811Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Musketry walls (Garde Foux) (Building)
MDV123815Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Oven house. (Building)
MDV123808Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Parade Ground (Monument)
MDV123661Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: Rampart and Moat (Building)
MDV123810Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: World War II Gun emplacement? (Building)
MDV123991Part of: Berry Head Fortifications, Brixham (Monument)
MDV20080Related to: Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)
MDV105448Related to: Rifle Range on Berry Head Common (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)
  • EDV7840 - Survey by John Horsley - 1961-2
  • EDV7797 - Architectural Survey by DA Buildings Section 1988
  • EDV7832 - Documentary research on the Berry Head Fort
  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessments of the Berry Head Forts

Date Last Edited:Oct 30 2020 4:59PM