HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV39298
Name:Staddon Battery, Wembury


Staddon Battery was built in 1780. Disarmed in 1853, it survives largely intact consisting of a semi-circular terrace cut into hillside with guard/store room, now Staddon Cottage, and barrel-vaulted magazines, now used as workshop/storerooms.


Grid Reference:SX 488 512
Map Sheet:SX45SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWembury
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishPLYMSTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX45SE/467

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (Built, XVIII - 1780 AD to 1780 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156008.

Des=woodward, f. W. /pers comm as above.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156009.

Des=plymouth fortress survey/pye, a.(1992)/copy and plan in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156010.

Des=col. M. Dixon's report and map/(1780)/british library, t op. Xi.79.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156011.

Pro=mph424/(1780+1846)/board of ordnance plans.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156012.

Pro=mph233/9/(1811)/board of ordnance nplan.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156013.

Des=print of "breakwater sound. From staddon hill battery"/(undated).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156014.

Pro=wo78/623/(?1872)/1:2500 plan.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156015.

Des=c1870 plan with 1894 amendments/plymouth proprietory library.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156016.

Pro=zhc1/2577/(1860)/royal commission report.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156017.

Oppenheim, m. /(1959)/the maritime history of devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV156018.

Woodward, f. W. /plymouth's defences/(1990)14.

Pye, A., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV7765.

Staddon battery. Built 1780, initially for 12 pdr guns. Latest armaments 32 pdrs and 8" sb guns (woodward pers comm). Vis=-/3/1992 (pye) located on the cliff north of bovisand and overlooking the west side of the sound. Not referred to in col. Dixon's report of jan 1780, it was built shortly afterwards for ten guns mounted en barbette. In 1805 it was armed with ten 12-pounder and 18-pounder small smooth-bore guns and in 1850 mounted four 8" shell guns and six 32-pounder guns; it was disarmed in 1853 following the completion of staddon point battery in 1847. Survives largely intact, consisting of a semi-circular terrace cut back into the hillside. This was fronted by a masonry parapet behind which the guns were stationed on garrison carriages. The guard-room/store-room survives intact at the rear of the terrace together with a pair of covered magazines. These are brick barrel-vaulted and have lamp-lighter's passages and are now used as a store-room and workshop. The earth has been removed from the roof and the bank at the front has been replaced by a new building. The guard- and store-room is at present used as domestic accommodation (staddon cottage) and all the buildings are well-maintained. The two guns at present on the battery terreplein were apparently brought from saltram house in the 1920s and their carriages were built by the present owner, mr forster. Another point of interest is the george iv board of ordnance plaque on the southern wall of the guard-house. Also of note are the granite slabs for the gun platforms. These have mostly been removed and are now used as paving around the front of the guard-house. It is unknown whether others survive in situ beneath the turf. The slope of the lawn down to the parapet reflects the original slopeof the battery terreplein (pye). Vis=.

English Heritage, 10/02/2014, Staddon Heights Defences, including Fort Staddon, Brownhill Battery, Watch House Battery, Staddon Heights Battery, Staddon Battery and associated features and structures. (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV356311.

A battery of 1779 with terreplein and curved rampart wall. The above ground buildings of Staddon Cottage (qv.) are excluded from the Schedule. Linked to Staddon Heights Battery by a former covered way.
A path leads down from Staddon Heights Battery to the semicircular terreplein of the battery. It is now the front garden of Staddon Cottage, which has some re-laid granite slabs. Further slabs may remain in situ beneath the lawn. The garden retains the original limits and slope of the terreplein, as well as its curved parapet wall of rubble stone. The cottage is a conversion of the guard house, and a stone hardstanding projects from its south end.

The Grade II listed Staddon Cottage and its associated buildings, including garages, are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included.

English Heritage, 10/02/2014, Staddon Heights Defences, including Fort Staddon, Brownhill Battery, Watch House Battery, Staddon Heights Battery, Staddon Battery and associated features and structures. (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV356311.

English Heritage, 12/02/2014, Staddon Heights DAS - Staddon Cottage and Former Magazine, Wembury (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV356298.

Staddon Cottage is in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The land on which is stands, including the terreplein (garden) and rampart wall is being considered for inclusion in the current Watch House Battery and Ditch scheduled monument.

DIO made a single representation relating to all of the proposals in the Staddon Heights Defences Defined Area Survey. With reference to Staddon Cottage, it was suggested that the English Heritage Advice Report 12 February 2014 building should be included within the proposed extension to the scheduled Watch House Battery, and not listed, allowing "the whole area to be managed as a single scheduled monument, making decisions more cohesive and unified, with a single ethos for the whole area and a single point of contact". However, current designation policy directs that listing would be the most appropriate regime for the main structure of the former battery guard room and magazine, while the area around and below it (Staddon Battery) should be considered for scheduling. Despite the conversion of the guard house to residential use, its original configuration and the original purpose of the building is legible. The magazine range retains most of its original fabric, plan and some fittings, although the roof covering and bank has been replaced. Furthermore, the buildings are the earliest known surviving military structures in an extensive and integrated complex, the high level of significance of which has been long established by a series of national designations. The specific criteria for listing are all met at Staddon Cottage and, therefore, it must be recommended for designation.

Historic interest: it has strong cultural and historical significance, within both a local and national
context, marking the strengthening of coastal fortifications prior to the period of the Napoleonic Wars;
Date: as a pre-1856 military structure there is a presumption in favour of listing;
Intactness: despite some adaptation, the original use and function of the buildings is legible and the
buildings survive well;
Group Value: it forms an historic group with the Staddon Heights military landscape.

A former battery guard house with attached magazine range, of c.1780, extended in c.1812 and converted to a dwelling in the early C20.
MATERIALS: the guard house is built of local rubble stone. The roof is covered in Delabole slate. The
magazines are constructed of rubble stone and brick, with timber doors separating the chambers.
PLAN: a single-storey guard house, the wider central bay is the original guard room. The kitchen bay to the left was the store room. The right bay is a further reception room of c.1811. Attached to the rear of the kitchen door is a passage to the magazine range, arranged as two parallel central magazines with adjacent narrow service areas at each end of the range. At the north end is a lobby and exit. Attached to the front of the magazines is a mid-C20 residential extension, which is not of special interest.
EXTERIOR: the guard house is rendered and has C20 projecting square bays attached to the left and right
openings. The central door opening has been widened. The rear elevation is uncovered rubble stone with a visible construction joint between the left and central bays. The hipped roof is covered in Delabole slate. Fixed to the exterior of the kitchen (north wall) is a George IV Board of Ordnance plaque, formerly sited on the exterior of the south wall. The magazine range is largely obscured from view by the residential extension. The rear is set in the bank behind the guard house, with the curved top of a brick vaulted magazine roof, and a modern covering. A tall, thick, stone wall stands at the junction of two ranges.
INTERIOR: the guard house is fitted with panelling, decorative ceiling joists and ceiling cornices of early C20 date. The roof structure appears to have been replaced at this time. In the central room is a chimneypiece constructed from ecclesiastical furniture. The entrance to the magazine range from the south is via a wide timber door with a fitted brass Hobbs and Co.s lock of c.1851 date. The brass key is stamped "NO 3 SHELL STORE INNER". The walls and vaulted roofs of the magazines are lined with brick, with some rubble stone structure to the walls. There is a hatchway inserted in the north wall of the north magazine.

After examining all the records and other relevant information and having carefully considered the architectural and historic interest of this case, the criteria for listing are fulfilled for Staddon Cottage. Therefore, it is recommended for designation.

Dobinson, C. S., 1996, Twentieth Century Fortifications in England: Anti-aircraft Artillery, 1914-1946, 435 (Report - non-specific). SDV356328.

Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2017, South Cornwall Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment, 1072 (Interpretation). SDV360825.

Staddon Battery was first built in the late 18th century but was reused and altered in the 19th century. Pye and Woodward note that the battery survives largely intact.

Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Staddon Cottage marked with outline of terrace.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV156008Migrated Record:
SDV156009Migrated Record:
SDV156010Migrated Record:
SDV156011Migrated Record:
SDV156012Migrated Record:
SDV156013Migrated Record:
SDV156014Migrated Record:
SDV156015Migrated Record:
SDV156016Migrated Record:
SDV156017Migrated Record:
SDV156018Migrated Record:
SDV356298List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 12/02/2014. Staddon Heights DAS - Staddon Cottage and Former Magazine, Wembury. Additions and Amendments to Checklist. Digital.
SDV356311List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 10/02/2014. Staddon Heights Defences, including Fort Staddon, Brownhill Battery, Watch House Battery, Staddon Heights Battery, Staddon Battery and associated features and structures.. Amendment to Schedule. Digital.
SDV356328Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England: Anti-aircraft Artillery, 1914-1946. Council for British Archaeology Report. 1.3. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 435.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #90228 ]
SDV360825Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2017. South Cornwall Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. RCZAS. Digital. 1072.
SDV7765Migrated Record: Pye, A..

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 12 2018 1:08PM