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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 the 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

Griffith, F. M., 10/07/1990, DAP/SS, 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.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Fort depicted with surviving internal buildings. Marked as 'Old Redoubt'.

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.

A parade ground levelled much of the interior of the fort for use in the 1860s by the Devon Artillery Volunteers.

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.

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

One of only two forts built, of the four envisaged, to protect the artillery batteries from a possible French coup de main. The fort encloses an area on the cliff edge about 100 metres west to east and 125 metres north to south.

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

One of only two forts built, of the four envisaged, to protect the artillery batteries from a possible French coup de main. The fort encloses an area on the cliff edge about 100 metres west to east and 125 metres north to south.

Horsley, J., 1988, A Short History of Brixham, 22 (Monograph). SDV362554.

The interior was levelled for use by the Devon Artillery Volunteers in the 1860s.

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

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

Breihan, J. R., 1990, Army barracks in Devon during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, 133-158 (Article in Serial). SDV336175.

Breihan discusses the general organisation of Napoleonic barracks.

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 and is located on a small promontory to the south-west. Its defences and internal features mostly survive intact. The defences comprise a stone revetted rampart with a moat with a stone counterscarp revetment 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.
Inside, an enclosed area of 4 acres, were a number of buildings of which a guard and storehouse, a magazine, a kitchen, an oven house and a barrack block have been identified. Both barracks and batteries were dismantled in 1817.

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

Griffith, F. M., 1990, DAP/TW, 6-7 (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.

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

Passmore, A. J., 2010, Archaeological Recording at Berry Head, Brixham, Devon, May to October 2009 (Report - Assessment). SDV364281.

Archaeological recording was undertaken by Exeter Archaeology in 2009 within the two Napoleonic forts during construction and conservation works as part of the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust’s ‘On The Edge’ project. It followed on from an assessment and survey carried out in 1989 and 1990.
Replacement of the entrance bridge to Fort 1 enabled the structural remains of the original drawbridge to be further recorded while within the fort building recording and excavation was undertaken on the guardhouse, magazine and kitchen revealing further details of these buildings.
Finds from both forts include early 19th century pottery, clay tobacco pipes and glass.

Exeter Archaeology, 2010, Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment, 3-4, 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV362409.

One of two garrisoned redoubts built on Berry Head between 1795 and 1807.
Most of the Ordnance land was let for pasture from 1823 and in 1886 was sold to A. A. M. Hogg. The common and the forts were bought by Torbay Council in 1969.

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.

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

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 349-50.
SDV177423Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 10/07/1990. DAP/SS. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper) + Digital (Scan). 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.
SDV317561Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX95NW31. OSAD Card. Card Index.
SDV317570Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX95NW36. OSAD Card. Card Index.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
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. 133-158.
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). 6-7.
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.
SDV362284Un-published: Evans, D. 1986. The Berry Head Forts. . Manuscript.
SDV362409Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2010. Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Archaeology. 10.05. Digital. 3-4, 6.
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
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. 6-13, 32.
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.
SDV362554Monograph: Horsley, J.. 1988. A Short History of Brixham. A Short History of Brixham. 22.
SDV364281Report - Assessment: Passmore, A. J.. 2010. Archaeological Recording at Berry Head, Brixham, Devon, May to October 2009. Exeter Archaeology. 10.73. Digital.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV44729Parent of: Barrack block in Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV123810Parent of: Berry Head Fort No. 1: World War II Gun emplacement? (Building)
MDV44731Parent of: Entrance to Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44732Parent of: Guard and storehouse at Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44734Parent of: Kitchen at Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV130740Parent of: Kitchen midden at Berry Head Fort No. 1 (Monument)
MDV44733Parent of: Magazine at Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44735Parent of: Oven house in Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44728Parent of: Parade ground at Berry Heat Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV20084Parent of: Redoubt at Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV123811Parent of: Southern musketry wall at Berry Head Fort No. 1, Brixham (Monument)
MDV123991Part of: Berry Head Fortifications, Brixham (Monument)
MDV20080Related to: Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)
MDV105448Related to: Rifle Range on Berry Head Common, 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)
  • 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:Jun 11 2021 4:25PM