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HER Number:MDV39549
Name:Battery at Corbyn's Head, Torbay


Site of a 19th Century Volunteer Artillery Battery. The area behind was the site of an Emergency Coastal Defence Battery during the Second World War.


Grid Reference:SX 907 631
Map Sheet:SX96SW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishCOCKINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX96SW/59
  • Torbay HER: MTO39549

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTERY (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Torbay HER record (SMR record). SDV361984.

The battery position on Corbyn's Head was maintained until late 1883 when it was given up as the sound of the detonations during gun practice used to disturb the large number of valetudinarians attracted to Torquay. The site is accurately depicted, with three gun bays on the 1861 OS 1:500 Town Map as Corbons Head. In about 1886 Corbyn Head was laid out as a recreation ground and given to the Corporation of Torquay in January 1906 [? Coleman, 1989].

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Dotted outline of the battery shown on 'Corbons Head', with a flag pole (F.S.) just to the north.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

No sign of the battery and the flag pole has been moved to the south.

Ellis, A.C., 1930, Historical Survey of Torquay, 394, Pl. 267 (Monograph). SDV362462.

In December 1859 the Fourth Devon Volunteer Artillery Battery was formed under Edward Vivian. On 4th May 1860 the battery with two 24-pounder guns was established at Corbyn's Head.

Coleman, R., 1989, The Purpose and History of the Battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham, 2 (Monograph). SDV362008.

The site was reoccupied in 1940 by an Emergency Coastal Defence Battery.

Jury, R., 1995, Defence of Britain Worksheet (Worksheet). SDV362307.

Site visit 20th November 1995. No visible signs of the battery were observed on a site visit during a Defence of Britain project survey

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV361984SMR record: Torbay HER record.
SDV362008Monograph: Coleman, R.. 1989. The Purpose and History of the Battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham. 2.
SDV362307Worksheet: Jury, R.. 1995. Defence of Britain Worksheet. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet.
SDV362462Monograph: Ellis, A.C.. 1930. Historical Survey of Torquay. Historical Survey of Torquay. Hardback Volume. 394, Pl. 267.

Associated Monuments

MDV105094Related to: Corbyn's Head Emergency Coastal Battery (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7755 - Defence of Britain site visits

Date Last Edited:Aug 30 2019 3:24PM