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HER Number:MDV42903
Name:Topsham or Wyvern Barracks

Summary

Topsham Barracks, now known as Wyvern Barracks, built in 1805, to a design by James Wyatt, on a 4-sided open court plan. Extended to north and north-east during 20th century, but now occupies little more than original area.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 935 914
Map Sheet:SX99SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExeter
DistrictExeter
Ecclesiastical ParishHEAVITREE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99SW/220

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILITARY BASE (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1974, Exeter District, 270 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV342016.

Contains several listed buildings, including the centre of the north-east range, and the entrance gates and screen walls.


Unknown, 1988, The Fortification of Berry Head, 13 (Article in Serial). SDV342021.


Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 409 (Monograph). SDV325629.


Breihan, J. R., 1990, Army barracks in Devon during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, 150 (Article in Serial). SDV336175.

The Artillery Barracks at Topsham Road, designed by James Wyatt of the Ordnance Board. A 4-sided open court, with a long range of buildings facing the parade ground. This is dominated by a central, 3-storey pedimented officers' house, 3 stories high in the centre, with lower side wings for the men. The sides of the court were defined by long ranges of detached 1 storey stable blocks. Two long ranges either side of the main gate completed the court and housed the officers and men of the Royal Artillery Drivers. The guard room, usually adjoining the gate, is off to the north side. Today the drivers' barracks contain the regimental mess and museum of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, the stables have been replaced by modern barracks blocks, and the grand central building stands vacant. Its huge artificial-stone royal arms has however recently been restored.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Exeter District, 2-4 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV342022.

Guard house and Gunners' Barracks added to list.


Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Development Site, Wyvern Barracks, Exeter, 3-4 (Report - Assessment). SDV342018.

In 1804 the Ordnance Board bought 8 acres of land, known as Spicer's Park, to build an artillery barracks. The buildings, designed by James Wyatt, were construced of brick and housed 13 officers and 304 men. In the later 19th century alterations and improvements were made to adapt the barracks to house3 batteries of royal artillery, and it is possible the land to the north of the barracks was purchased at this time. During World War II, the 2 storey brick built officers' mess to the west of the main entrance was destroyed when several bombs landed within or close to the barracks, and a German plane crashed on 'The Cricket Field'. The exact location of the crash has not been established. Towards the end of the war the majority of the open space was the site of a hutted camp, the majority of the structures being demolished after the war, and in 1964 the barracks were largely rebuilt and modernised. Other details: Figures 3-8.


Goodwin, N., 2007, Watching Brief on Groundworks for Housing Development at Wyvern Barracks, Topsham Road, Exeter (Report - Watching Brief). SDV342009.

Groundworks for the construction of 123 dwellings and associated landscaping and access roads to the north of the barracks. The site consisted of several terraces, which appeared to be part of the post-war landscaping that followed the removal of the World War II temporary buildings and former training trenches to the north-east. A probable World War II bomb crater was observed in the north of the site.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 409.
SDV336175Article in Serial: Breihan, J. R.. 1990. Army barracks in Devon during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 122. A5 Paperback. 150.
SDV342009Report - Watching Brief: Goodwin, N.. 2007. Watching Brief on Groundworks for Housing Development at Wyvern Barracks, Topsham Road, Exeter. Exeter Archaeology. 5138. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV342016List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1974. Exeter District. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 270.
SDV342018Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Development Site, Wyvern Barracks, Exeter. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.15. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3-4.
SDV342021Article in Serial: Unknown. 1988. The Fortification of Berry Head. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 5. Unknown. 13.
SDV342022List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Exeter District. Amendment to List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interes. A4 Stapled. 2-4.

Associated Monuments

MDV42904Parent of: Entrance Gates and Screen Walls at Wyvern Barracks (Building)
MDV75134Parent of: Former Gunners' Barracks, Wyvern Barracks (Building)
MDV75135Parent of: Former Gunners' Barracks, Wyvern Barracks (Building)
MDV75137Parent of: Guardhouse and Former Stable at Wyvern Barracks (Building)
MDV75136Parent of: Officers' House at Wyvern Barracks (Building)
MDV65670Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 1 (Monument)
MDV65670Related to: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 1 (Monument)
MDV75229Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 10 (Monument)
MDV75231Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 11 (Monument)
MDV75144Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 12 (Monument)
MDV75234Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 13 (Monument)
MDV75142Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 2 (Monument)
MDV75215Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 3 (Monument)
MDV75216Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 4 (Monument)
MDV75212Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 5 (Monument)
MDV75219Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 6 (Monument)
MDV75225Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 7 (Monument)
MDV75242Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 7A (Monument)
MDV75250Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 7G (Monument)
MDV75252Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 7H (Monument)
MDV75227Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 8 (Monument)
MDV75228Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 9 (Monument)
MDV75246Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stones 7E and 7F (Monument)
MDV75245Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stones Numbers 7B-D (Monument)
MDV65671Related to: Barrarck Field and Inner Barrack Field, Topsham Barracks (Monument)
MDV75139Related to: Motor Transport Shed at Wyvern Barracks (Monument)
MDV75138Related to: Probable World War II Bomb Crater at Wyvern Barracks (Monument)
MDV65670Parent of: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 1 (Monument)
MDV65670Related to: Wyvern Barracks Boundary Stone Number 1 (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4463 - Watching Brief on Groundworks for Housing Development at Wyvern Barracks, Topsham Road, Exeter

Date Last Edited:Mar 18 2009 8:23AM