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HER Number:MDV42872
Name:Guardhouse at Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham


Single storey building located just inside the entrance to the fort. Marked as a guardroom on a plan of 1833. Now a café and interpretation centre.


Grid Reference:SX 943 564
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/4/5
  • Tide Project: 20/08/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO42872

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GUARDHOUSE (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1798 AD (Between) to 1802 AD (Between))

Full description

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 7, 35 (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

The guardhouse near the entrance is now a café. Construction of an officer's mess was approved in 1798-99.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 17-19, Fig 19, Plates 19,20 (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

A single storey building immediately inside the fort entrance. Labelled as guardroom on a plan of 1833. Almost certainly the 'officers' guard room' constructed between 1798 and 1802. Cartographic evidence suggests 3 phases: Phase i) the 1804 plan shows rectangular structure of at least 2 rooms fronted on the north by a corridor or verandah. Hipped, king post roof. Phase ii) by 1811 a small low-roofed building had been added to the south side. Phase iii) between 1865 and 1906 roomswere added at the south-west and north-east corners, producing a square plan. A new higher roof was added and interior alterations carried out. The building, now a café, is in very good condition.
See report for further details.

Department of National Heritage, 1993, Revised List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, 13 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV362556.


Bishop, H.C., 2007, An Evaluation at the Guardhouse of Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Report - Evaluation). SDV362370.

A field evaluation in November 2007 established a new phasing for the façade of the building, in advance of a planning application for the demolition and rebuilding of a new rear extension.

Passmore, A. J., 2010, Archaeological Recording at Berry Head, Brixham, Devon, May to October 2009, 1, 5-6, 10-11, 16, Figs 9-10 (Report - Assessment). SDV364281.

Archaeological recording was carried out by Exeter Archaeology in 2009 within Fort No. 3, during construction and conservation works undertaken as part of the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust’s ‘On The Edge’ project.
Works to the guardhouse provided new information on the development of the building. The guardhouse was built in 1798-1802 as a large rectangular building with a veranda along its north side (1100). Removal of modern concrete from the veranda revealed the original slate flagstone surface. Within the guardhouse works in 2009 showed that the internal dividing wall, previously thought to be original, was an early 19th century insertion, probably added in 1811 at the same time a rear extension with two rooms was added to the building and which is shown on the OS map of 1865. Remains of a limestone flag floor (1103) in the western room, which was covered with a gravelly lime screed tainted with coal dust suggests that the room was used for storage. The rear extension was enlarged between 1865 and 1906 and divided into four rooms, three of which had fireplaces. The eastern two rooms were divided by a corridor which had a limestone flag floor (1111) and within the eastern room was a limestone water tank (1110). With the main area of the guardhouse a large fireplace was built within the south wall of the eastern room. Subsequent alterations (See Pye 1990) included the addition of partition walls in the main part of the guardhouse, removal of the water tank and corridor in the extension and removal of the flat room of the extension and the addition of a new hipped roof.
Following the decommission of the fort in c.1817, the guardhouse was used as accommodation by Chelsea Pensioners who acted as caretakers of the fort for the Board of Ordnance, until the land was sold in 1886.

Watts, M. + S., 2020, Berry Head Fort No. 3 (Ground Photograph). SDV363853.

Photos of buildings and structures within the former Napoleonic fort.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

Building marked as Berry Head Fort Café.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1195202 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

Napoleonic fort guardhouse, approximately 30 metres inside entrance to northern fort.
Guardhouse, now cafe. 1798-1802, extended at rear by 1811, and again between 1865 and 1906. Roughcast walls with pilasters in Devonian limestone ashlar. Hipped slated roofs, the late C19 roof higher than that of the original front range.
See listing description for full details.
Date first listed: 18th October 1993

Sources / Further Reading

SDV362370Report - Evaluation: Bishop, H.C.. 2007. An Evaluation at the Guardhouse of Berry Head Fort No. 3. Torbay HER Report. A4 Bound.
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. 17-19, Fig 19, Plates 19,20.
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. 7, 35.
Linked documents:1
SDV362556List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of National Heritage. 1993. Revised List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Historic Houses Register. 13.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #126809 ]
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1195202.
SDV363853Ground Photograph: Watts, M. + S.. 2020. Berry Head Fort No. 3. Digital.
Linked images:14
SDV364281Report - Assessment: Passmore, A. J.. 2010. Archaeological Recording at Berry Head, Brixham, Devon, May to October 2009. Exeter Archaeology. 10.73. Digital. 1, 5-6, 10-11, 16, Figs 9-10.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV20080Part of: Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)
MDV134060Related to: Culvert to rear of the Guard House, Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)
MDV134061Related to: Rubbish pit to the rear of the Guardhouse, Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)
MDV134063Related to: Rubbish pit to the rear of the Guardhouse, Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessment of the Berry Head Forts
  • EDV7929 - Evaluation at the Guardhouse at Berry Head Fort No. 3
  • EDV8910 - Excavations at the Guardhouse, Fort No. 3, Berry Head, Brixham
  • EDV8911 - Archaeological recording at Berry Head, Brixham
  • EDV7835 - Archaeological Survey of the Berry Head Forts
  • EDV9033 - Assessment of the Napoleonic fortifications on Berry Head

Date Last Edited:May 25 2024 5:25PM