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HER Number:MDV36194
Name:Saluting Battery at Woodcot, Salcombe


The remains of a gothic folly with adjacent crenellated platform on the rocky foreshore below the gardens of the Woodcot Estate which was built in the late 18th or early 19th century as a saluting battery.


Grid Reference:SX 736 384
Map Sheet:SX73NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSalcombe
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSALCOMBE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX73NW/57

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1797 AD to 1819 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, 1841, Salcombe (Cartographic). SDV144958.

Field No 1174.

Murch, M. + Murch, D., 1979, A Maritime History of the Area (Unknown). SDV335866.

Born, A., 1986, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV335865.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1987, SX73NW28 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV144667.

A small 15m protruberance of shoreline cliff is described in the tithe award as 'Battery and Cliff'. On the northwest shoreline of the harbour, 450m towards the town from Salcombe Castle (citing Tithe Map). This short tongue of land which juts out into Salcombe harbour is now enclosed by a coursed stone wall crowned by mock crenellations. It forms part of a private landscaped garden and it is under lawns.

Griffith, F. M., 1995, DAP/YO, 5-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV156001.

Mottershead, D. N., 1997, A morphological study of greenschist weathering on dated coastal structures, South Devon, 491-506 (Article in Serial). SDV155979.

Small fortlet constructed of local greenschist on Limpyear rocks interpreted by Born as being built at the same time as the house in 1797 although Murch & Murch interpret it slightly later as 'Napoleonic'. It is a simple structure of trapezoidal plan which projects into the estuary at high tide.

Exeter Archaeology, 2008, Archaeological Assessment of Parts of the Woodwell Estate, Salcombe, 7-8, 9 (Report - Assessment). SDV361137.

Structure on the rocky foreshore below the gardens of the Woodcot Estate comprising a folly, adjacent crenellated platform and facing masonry below. This was thought to have been built at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, its purpose to convince the French that the harbour was well-fortified. However, no corroborating evidence has been found to support this, however and the first definite evidence of its existence is a depiction in an engraving in a guide book of 1819. It is referred to as 'a mock parapet and small swivels to fire a royal salute' which implies that it was not intended to fire in anger. However, it is not implausible that it was present from 1797-8, although it is not shown on the Ordance Survey drawing of 1803-4. It is referred to on the tithe survey of 1841 as a battery, implying that it continued in the role of a saluting battery for ceremonial occassions such as regattas. There is a similar saluting battery in the grounds of Greenway House on the River Dart.
It is referred to in a sale catalogue of 1896 as 'the remains of a Castellated Ruin, with Gothic Archway and small grassy Pleasaunce'. Only the upstanding south side of the folly survives today beside the crenallated platform. See report for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV144667Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1987. SX73NW28. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV144958Cartographic: Unknown. 1841. Salcombe. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV155979Article in Serial: Mottershead, D. N.. 1997. A morphological study of greenschist weathering on dated coastal structures, South Devon. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 22. Unknown. 491-506.
SDV156001Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1995. DAP/YO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-6.
SDV335865Monograph: Born, A.. 1986. A History of Kingsbridge and Salcombe. Unknown.
SDV335866Unknown: Murch, M. + Murch, D.. 1979. A Maritime History of the Area. Salcombe Museum of Maritime and Local History: Paper 1. Paper 1. Unknown.
SDV361137Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2008. Archaeological Assessment of Parts of the Woodwell Estate, Salcombe. Exeter Archaeology. 08.55. Digital. 7-8, 9.

Associated Monuments

MDV125784Related to: Gardens of Woodcot, Salcombe (Monument)
MDV22808Related to: Woodcot, Salcombe (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3842 - DAP/YO

Date Last Edited:May 17 2019 4:09PM