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HER Number:MDV20085
Name:Half Moon Battery, Berry Head, Brixham

Summary

Site of a 12 gun battery established at the eastern end of Berry Head in about 1795. It was subsequently incorporated into the No. 3 fort which was built in 1803-1805 and dismantled in about 1817.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 946 565
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/49
  • Tide Project: 10/09/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO20085

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1790 AD to 1805 AD (Between))

Full description

County Borough of Torbay, 1967, Berry Head, 15,22-23 (Monograph). SDV362520.

Half Moon Battery was established at the eastern end of Berry Head in about 1795. It was subsequently incorporated in the No. 3 fort which was built in 1803-1805. The battery consisted of no less than 12 guns. The granite gun beds were removed for use elsewhere after it was dismantled in about 1820 but the site of the battery still survives.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 20 (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

A battery was first built at the point in 1779-80. It was decommissioned in 1783 after the Treaty of Paris and re-activated in 1794-5 at the start of the long French wars. It was finally dismantled in 1817.
The armament appears to have been 12 forty-two-pounder cannon protruding over a low parapet. During the Second World War there appears to have been at least one American anti-aircraft gun sited here. Most of the Napoleonic battery site remains. Plans suggest that the earlier arrangement was re-used with little alteration.
It consists of a wide terrace cut into the headland. The remains of a limestone rubble retaining wall run along the west side with the remains of a low parapet bank (originally stone revetted?) along its seaward sides. The sites of 4 gun platforms show as a cropmark during drought. The platforms would originally have been of timber, and then later of granite slabs similar to those surviving on the enceinte. At the south-east corner are the concrete settings (some with protruding iron bolts) of an anti-aircraft gun. There are the possible remains of another to the north.

Sources / Further Reading

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. 20. [Mapped feature: #126897 Imported from Torbay HER - Jan 2019, ]
Linked documents:1
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 4.
Linked documents:1
SDV362520Monograph: County Borough of Torbay. 1967. Berry Head. Berry Head. Paperback. 15,22-23.

Associated Monuments

MDV105455Parent of: Gun Platforms at Berry Head Point (Monument)
MDV20080Part of: Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)
MDV105453Related to: Light Anti-Aircraft Battery at Berry Head (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7797 - Architectural Survey by DA Buildings Section 1988
  • EDV7832 - Documentary research on the Berry Head Fort
  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessments of the Berry Head Forts
  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)

Date Last Edited:Oct 28 2020 9:43AM