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HER Number:MDV20088
Name:Hardy's Head Battery, Berry Head, Brixham

Summary

Hardy's Head Battery was built in the late 18th century instead of No. 2 fort. It was first built in 1779-1780 with three guns and expanded in 1794-1795 to four guns. The granite gun beds can still be seen. One of three batteries established on Berry Head following declarations of was by France and Spain in 1778-9 and reactivated in 1794-5. They were dismantled at the end of the Napoleonic War. The structure is both a listed building and a scheduled ancient monument.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 940 566
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 95 NW 154
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/54
  • Pastscape: 1315285
  • Tide Project: 13/08/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO20088

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COASTAL BATTERY (Built, XVIII - 1779 AD to 1795 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

'Old Battery' is marked but no internal features are depicted.

Ordnance Survey, 1938, 122SE. Revision of 1936-1937 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV337463.

Old Battery marked.

Royal Air Force, 1942, RAF/AC41, RAF/AC41 V 31-32 30-APR-1942 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352349.

Four flat probable structures are visible within a walled enclosure.

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2488, RAF/CPE/UK/2488 5204-5205 11-MAR-1948 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352767.

Four flat probable structures and one rectangular structure are visible within a walled enclosure. Map object partly based on this source.

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

Hardy's Head Battery was built in the early 19th century instead of the No. 2 fort originally planned. It has substantial walls and housed four guns, the granite beds of some of which can still be seen.

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

Recognised in CBT management plan of 1973.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 6, 35, 36 + figs (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

Hardy’s Head Battery was a three gun battery originally built in 1780 at the start of the American War of Independence. One of three batteries built to defend the Torbay anchorage. It was dismantled in 1783 but reactivated in 1794 to form part of the Napoleonic defences when it was armed with four cannon. Shown on the Ordnance Surveyors sketch of 1803-4. The original wooden gun platforms were replaced by ones of moorstone in 1809. It was dismantled again in 1815. See report for further details.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 3-4, 6, 25 + figs (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

Built in 1779-80 and 1794-95. The 1780-83 battery had an armoury of three 20 or 24-pounder cannon. The 1795-1817 battery had emplacements for four 24 or 32-pounder cannon (or both) en barbette.
The surviving battery consists of 4 granite gun platforms (replacing the original timber platforms in 1809). These slope gently from rear to front. Two are orientated northwards, the others east and west. One of the former has remains of low stone sill at its northern end. Around all three sides is a low parapet, revelled on its downslope side with limestone rubble walling. The footings of a small rectangular building at the southeast corner of the platform may be the site of a magazine.

Fiorato, V.J., 2000, Hardy's Head Battery, Berry Head Brixham: An Archaeological Investigation (Report - Watching Brief). SDV362354.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX9356_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

The gun platforms are clearly visible. Map object partly based on this source.

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

One of three batteries established on Berry Head following declarations of was by France and Spain in 1778-9 and reactivated in 1794-5. They were dismantled at the end of the Napoleonic War.

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/early nineteenth century battery is visible as a structure on aerial photographs from 1942, circa 22 metres maximum visible extent, with four internal gun platforms enclosed by a wall on three sides. A rectangular structure 2.5 by 5.5 metres in plan and visible in the south-east corner could be the foundations of the possible magazine building recorded here in the Torbay HER. The stone gun platforms are trapezoidal in plan measuring 2.5-3.5 by 4.5 metres each. They appear to be in good condition on the more recent aerial photographs in 2012, although the rectangular building is not clearly visible and the enclosing walls appear to have become overgrown.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

The remains of the battery including the gun platforms are clearly visible.

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

The scheduled monument at Berry Head comprises two separate areas of protection, Berry Head Fort and battery, and Hardy's Head Battery.
Hardy's Head Battery is a former coastal battery of 1780, lying to the north west of Berry Head Fort. It was dismantled around 1783 but was later reactivated as part of the response to the Napoleonic invasion threat; its gun platforms and parapet wall survive.
See scheduled monument description for full details.
Date first scheduled: 9th November 1950
Date of most recent amendment: 14th March 2000

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1208164 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Hardy's Head Battery at SX 9440 5675. Gun battery. 1779-80, reactivated 1794-5. Granite with limestone rubble revetment wall to earth rampart. The site is now laid out for public use with seatsand information board. See listing description for full details.
Date first listed: 18th October 1993

National Monuments Record, 2020, Pastscape, 1315285 (Website). SDV363416.

A former coastal battery lying about 280 metres north west of the entrance to Berry Head Fort. This battery was built in 1780 during the American War of Independence. It comprised three 24-pounder cannon on wooden gun platforms 'en barbette' (ie guns fired over their surrounding parapet rather than through them). It was dismantled in 1783 at the end of the war but was resurrected in 1794 as part of the Napoleonic defences. In this second phase its armament was increased from three to four cannon, one of which could offer fire to cover the northern side of Berry Head Fort. The wooden gun platforms were replaced by moorstone blocks which still survive, as does the surrounding low parapet of compacted earth and limestone rubble which encloses the battery on its north, east and west sides, forming a trapezoidal shape facing the sea approaches to the Torbay harbourage. Scheduled.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337463Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 122SE. Revision of 1936-1937 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
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 SX9356_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012.
SDV352349Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1942. RAF/AC41. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/AC41 V 31-32 30-APR-1942.
SDV352767Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2488. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/2488 5204-5205 11-MAR-1948.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #126740 ]
SDV362354Report - Watching Brief: Fiorato, V.J.. 2000. Hardy's Head Battery, Berry Head Brixham: An Archaeological Investigation. Torbay HER Report. Unknown.
SDV362409Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2010. Berry Head Hotel Brixham Part 1: Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Archaeology. 10.05. Digital. 3, 6.
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. 3-4, 6, 25 + figs.
Linked documents:1
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 6, 35, 36 + figs.
Linked documents:1
SDV362518Report - Interim: Hawkins, M.R.. 1973. Berry Head Management Plan. Parks Committee of the County Borough of Torbay. Zone C (Ca).
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. 1208164.
SDV363416Website: National Monuments Record. 2020. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 1315285.

Associated Monuments

MDV123991Part of: Berry Head Fortifications, Brixham (Monument)
MDV19478Related to: Castle Hill Battery, Brixham (Monument)
MDV44415Related to: Fishcombe Point Battery (Monument)
MDV44413Related to: Magazine circa 100 metres east of the Old Battery, 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)
  • EDV7913 - An Archaeological Investigation at Hardy's Head Battery, Berry Head, Brixham

Date Last Edited:Jun 11 2021 4:29PM