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HER Number:MDV44415
Name:Fishcombe Point Battery, Brixham


The battery was originally built in 1779-80 and manned until 1783. It was reactivated in 1794 and decommissioned in 1817. The site was used by Artillery Volunteers in the mid-late 19th century. The area was extensively remodelled in 1940 when an emergency coastal battery was built, but the most likely site of the 18th century battery is a semi circular platform in front of one of the 1940s batteries.


Grid Reference:SX 292 056
Map Sheet:SX20NE
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishBrixham
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIXHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/93/1
  • Tide Project: 16/04/2021

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COASTAL BATTERY (Built, XVIII - 1779 AD to 1779 AD)

Full description

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

Gun shed marked.

Ordnance Survey, 1933, 122SW (Cartographic). SDV316035.

Battery Ground marked.

Evans, D., 1986, The History of the Berry Head Fortifications, 12,13 (Un-published). SDV362495.

Pye, A.R., 1989, Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment, 5, 11, 35 + figs (Report - Assessment). SDV362497.

Five gun battery built in 1779-80. One of three batteries built to defend the Torbay anchorage. Depicted on the Ordnance Surveyors sketch of 1803-4. Dismantled in 1817.

Pye, A.R. & Slater, W.D., 1990, Berry Head Fort, Brixham, An Archaeological Survey, 4, 5, 9, 26 + figs (Report - Survey). SDV362493.

Located in the present Battery Gardens. One of three batteries originally completed in 1780, the others being Castle Hill and Berry Head Point. There are no obvious remnants remain since the area was extensively remodelled in the 1940s when heavy batteries (Brixham Fort) were built into the hillside. The most likely site is a semi circular platform at the front of one of these 1940s batteries which has the remnants of a low bank around its north side. No evidence of gun platforms or limestone parapet has been found. In 1780-83 its armament was five 20 or 24-pounder cannon, and in 1795-1817 5 24 or 32-pounders. Although there were emplacements for 5 guns, in 1811 only 4 were in place.

Phil Newman, 2001, Battery Gardens, Brixham, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, 2-3, Pl. 2 (Report - Survey). SDV362290.

The batteries at the Berry Head Forts were dismantled in 1817; it is unclear whether Fishcombe was similarly dismantled or what use it was put to over the next 30-35 years. An Admiralty chart surveyed in 1852 and published in 1857 marks a 'Practice Battery' at Fishcombe Cove; gun drill is reported there in 1860. Local artillery volunteers were drilling with a 32 lb SB and a 64 lb gun in 1892. Remnants of the racers of the mid-19th century practice guns are still visible, the rear one partially obscured by a modern concrete bench.

Newman, P. + Salvatore, J., 2003, An emergency coast artillery battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham, Torbay, 209-215, Figs 3, 4 (Article in Serial). SDV318361.

The advantageous site of the promontory overlooking Brixham Harbour has been recognised since as least 1780, when a plan of Torbay shows a curved redoubt here, called Furzeham Battery. The battery was possibly dismantled together with those on Berry Head shortly after 1783 but reactivated in the 1790s during the Napoleonic Wars.
By the mid 19th century, War Department boundary stones had been set up around the site and the battery continued to be used intermittently for practice. The promontory subsequently became a public park and then in 1940 was chosen as the location for an Emergency Coastal Artillery Battery as part of the defences of Torbay.
Nothing remains of the late 18th century redoubt but two iron racers on which the guns were traversed can still be seen.
A granite pillar, 1.3m high by 1.2m diameter also survives from this time and is marked as Stone on the 1904 Ordnance Survey map. Of the eight War Department boundary stones marked on the map, only two, Nos 8 and 5 are still visible.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV316035Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1933. 122SW. 6 inch Provisional Edition. Map (Paper).
SDV318361Article in Serial: Newman, P. + Salvatore, J.. 2003. An emergency coast artillery battery at Battery Gardens, Brixham, Torbay. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 61. 209-215, Figs 3, 4.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #129772 ]
SDV362290Report - Survey: Phil Newman. 2001. Battery Gardens, Brixham, Devon: An Archaeological Survey. English Heritage. Unknown. 2-3, Pl. 2.
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. 4, 5, 9, 26 + figs.
Linked documents:1
SDV362495Un-published: Evans, D.. 1986. The History of the Berry Head Fortifications. . Manuscript. 12,13.
SDV362497Report - Assessment: Pye, A.R.. 1989. Berry Head Fort, Brixham. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit. EMAFU 89.04. Hardcopy + Digital. 5, 11, 35 + figs.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV124001Parent of: Battery Gardens, Brixham: War Department Boundary stone No. 5 (Monument)
MDV124000Parent of: Battery Gardens, Brixham: War Department Boundary stone No. 8 (Monument)
MDV124002Parent of: Battery Gardens. Brixham: Range Finder Column (Monument)
MDV39550Related to: Battery Grounds/Gardens, Brixham (Monument)
MDV19478Related to: Castle Hill Battery, Brixham (Monument)
MDV20085Related to: Half Moon Battery, Berry Head, Brixham (Monument)
MDV20088Related to: Hardy's Head Battery, Berry Head, Brixham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7848 - Archaeological Survey by Phil Newman - May 2001
  • EDV7835 - Archaeological Survey of the Berry Head Forts
  • EDV7834 - Archaeological Assessment of the Berry Head Forts

Date Last Edited:Feb 24 2024 5:43PM