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HER Number:MDV39547
Name:Dawlish Emergency Coast Defence Battery


Site of emergency battery at Dawlish. The main buildings are still in fair condition and depicted on the current Ordnance Survey digital base map. Some are visible on aerial photographs of 1941 to 1946 but much of the site is obscured by tree cover.


Grid Reference:SX 961 761
Map Sheet:SX97NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDawlish
Ecclesiastical ParishDAWLISH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1417395
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX97NE/44

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (XX - 1901 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1941, RAF/S169, RAF/1416/S169 PO-48 - PO-49 01-JUN-1941 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351521.

Emergency Coastal Battery structures are visible.

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

The lower serchlight and gun emplacement are visible as a structure.

Guy, J., 1990, List of Coastal Batteries (Un-published). SDV15882.

Dobinson, C. S., 1996, Coastal artillery, 1900-56 VI.1 & VI.2, 316 (Report - non-specific). SDV323777.

Site of Emergency battery at Dawlish. Armed with 2 x 4in (Naval) guns and later with 2 x 138mm guns. Manned by 390 Bty and later by 555 Regt, 395 Bty. Other details: AAI.

Jury, R., 1997, Dawlish Battery (Worksheet). SDV323801.

This is a two 4 inch gun emergency coastal battery site with the main buildings still in fair condition. It is sited in a steep cliff to south of the town and over the railway tunnel. There are two entrances. The lower is at sea/railway line level and given access to the lower gun and searchlight. The higher is off the main Teignmouth Road through gate pillars with the old house name of 'Lea Mount'. A site plan with suggested uses of the remaining buildings is attached together with photos.

Manning, P. T., 1999, Archaeological Assessment of SWWSL Holcombe Sewage Transfer Scheme (Dawlish) (Report - Assessment). SDV336359.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

The Emergency Coastal Battery structures are obscured by tree cover.

Passmore, M. + Passmore, A., 2013, Coastal Emergency Battery, Dawlish (Leaflet). SDV355703.

The remains of a coastal emergency battery complex can be seen at Lea Mount, on and below the headland. Photographs show the gun positions, generator house, a sentry box and an unidentified structure.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

The surviving Emergency Coastal Battery structures are depicted. Map Objects partly based on this source.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

Elements of the Dawlish emergency coastal battery are visible as structures on military oblique aerial photographs of 1941. Visible structures include the lower searchlight emplacement and possibly both the lower and upper gun positions. Structures of unknown but apparently non-military function are visible overlooking the cliff edge to the south of the site, but it is possible these were camouflaged military emplacements such as observation posts. Much of the upper site is obscured by tree cover in 1941, and more so on later images available to the survey, although the lower searchlight and gun house structures can be seen on a digital mosaic derived aerial photographs of 1946. The hard copies of which the relevant section is comprised were not located. The oblique nature of the 1941 aerial photograph has prevented its rectification and the transcription of the visible structures. Due to the tree cover in Lea Mount Grounds the structures are not visible on very recent digital images derived from aerial photographs taken but some appear to be depicted on the current Ordnance Survey Mastermap base mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15882Un-published: Guy, J.. 1990. List of Coastal Batteries. Typescript.
SDV323777Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 1996. Coastal artillery, 1900-56 VI.1 & VI.2. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. VI.1 & VI.2. A4 Stapled + Digital. 316.
SDV323801Worksheet: Jury, R.. 1997. Dawlish Battery. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV336359Report - Assessment: Manning, P. T.. 1999. Archaeological Assessment of SWWSL Holcombe Sewage Transfer Scheme (Dawlish). Exeter Archaeology Report. 99.35. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #90374 ]
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
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
SDV351521Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1941. RAF/S169. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/1416/S169 PO-48 - PO-49 01-JUN-1941.
SDV355703Leaflet: Passmore, M. + Passmore, A.. 2013. Coastal Emergency Battery, Dawlish. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archae. 46. A4 Folded + digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV2890 - DOB site visit

Date Last Edited:Oct 15 2014 1:33PM