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HER Number:MDV42876
Name:Royal Observer Corps post in Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham


A Royal Observer Corps (ROC) post was originally sited to the north of the gateway into the fort but was moved to its present position in the south-east corner of a Napoleonic store building in 1943-44. It is visible on aerial photographs from 1946 onwards and appears to be relatively complete. A Cold War underground ROC post also survives to the north.


Grid Reference:SX 944 565
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Civil ParishTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/4/9
  • Tide Project: 03/09/2020
  • Torbay HER: MTO42876

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROYAL OBSERVER CORPS SITE (Built, World War II - 1943 AD to 1944 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 3209-3210 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351061.

A rectangular structure is visible built into the barracks wall, and another possible structure is visible to the west.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/HQ, DAP/HQ13 23-DEC-1986 (Aerial Photograph). SDV337326.

The 1940s structure is visible as a rectangular building with three different roof heights.

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

Royal Observer Corps post dated 1943-44. In good condition. The post was originally sited on the rampart north of the gateway, but was moved to its present site in the south-east corner of the store building in 1943 or 44. It utilises the original store walls for the lower parts of its south and east walls. Above this level it is completely covered in cement rendering. It has a flat felt roof with sloping sides, in which there are 2 windows. The ground and first floors were entered by doors in the west wall, now blocked.

Fortress Study Group, 1994, List of Defensive Sites, JH00659 & JH01295 (Un-published). SDV362243.

The Fortress Study Group lists two ROC observation posts in the grounds of Fort 3 at Berry Head. One at SX9446 5652 and aother at SX9447 5652, both in good condition.

Fiorato, V.J., 2000, ROC post, Berry Head North Fort, T23,24 (Ground Photograph). SDV362211.

Colour slides of the ROC post.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX9456_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

The Second World War observation post is visible as a rectanguar structure apparently consisting of three sections with a possible blast wall on the west.

Next Perspectives, 2006, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photograph, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SX9456 03-JUN-2006 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351300.

The Second World War structure is visible.

Subterranea Britannica: Research Study Group, 2012, Subterranea Britannica, http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/roc/db/988399666.006001.html (Website). SDV349127.

Photos and details of the Second World War ROC post given, which is to be turned into a bird hide.

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

The structural remains of both phases of the twentieth century Royal Observer Corps observer post are visible on aerial photographs from 1946 to 2012. In the 1946 aerial photographs the Second World War rectangular building built into the south-east corner of the stores is visible, measuring circa 3 by 5 metres. On oblique aerial photographs taken in 1986 several different roof heights are visible, indicating that this was a composite structure. A small wall on the west side is the correct dimension and conformation for a blast wall, but could be associated with access. A possibly associated rectangular structure circa 2 by 4 metres is also visible built into the south side of the stores ruins approximately 7 metres to the west. The latter structure is not visible on later available aerial photographs and may have been removed soon after the war ended, although the former structure survives and appears to have been in stable condition in 2012.

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

Small square building depicted.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV337326Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/HQ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP/HQ13 23-DEC-1986.
SDV349127Website: Subterranea Britannica: Research Study Group. 2012. Subterranea Britannica. www.subbrit.org.uk/. Website. http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/roc/db/988399666.006001.html.
SDV351061Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 3209-3210 10-DEC-1946.
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
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coastal Observatory SX9456_20120918ortho.ecw 18-SEP-2012.
SDV351300Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2006. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photograph. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SX9456 03-JUN-2006.
SDV362211Ground Photograph: Fiorato, V.J.. 2000. ROC post, Berry Head North Fort. World War II sites in Torbay. Slide. T23,24.
SDV362243Un-published: Fortress Study Group. 1994. List of Defensive Sites. JH00659 & JH01295.
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. 19.
Linked documents:1
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #126854 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV42875Related to: Cold War Royal Observer Corps Post, Berry Head Fort No. 3, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)
  • EDV7779 - World War II sites in Torbay
  • EDV7797 - Architectural Survey by DA Buildings Section 1988
  • EDV7832 - Documentary research on the Berry Head Fort
  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessments of the Berry Head Forts

Date Last Edited:Oct 28 2020 9:49AM